How Many Types of Literature Reviews are There? Listings, Description and Classification

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Carlos Manterola; Josue Rivadeneira; Hugo Delgado; Catalina Sotelo & Tamara Otzen


The expansion and consolidation of evidence-based clinical practice has led, among other things, to the need to carry out an increasing variety of types of literature reviews, which allows advancing in knowledge and understanding the breadth of research on a topic of interest. However, the diversity of the terminology used generates confusion of terms and concepts. The aim of this manuscript was to provide a list of the most frequently used review types with their characteristics and some examples. Qualitative review. PubMed, WoS and Scopus databases were examined in a directed way, searching for terms associated with types of reviews and syntheses of the scientific literature. Twenty-one types of review, and 29 variants and associated synonymies were found; those that illustrate the processes of each of them. An overview of the characteristics of each is given, along with perceived strengths and weaknesses. However, it was verified that only some types of review have their own explicit methodologies. This approach, provides a point of reference for those who perform or interpret reviews in the health field and suggests two classification proposals.

KEY WORDS: Evidence-Based Medicine; Review Literature as Topic; Systematic Reviews as Topic; Systematic Review [Publication Type]; Meta-Analysis [Publication Type]; Scoping review; Overview; Qualitative systematic review.

How to cite this article

MANTEROLA, C.; RIVADENEIRA, J.; DELGADO, H.; SOTELO, C. & OTZEN, T. How many types of literature reviews are there? Listings, description and classification. Int. J. Morphol., 41(4):1240-1253, 2023.