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How many papers to include in a literature review

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Published on February 22, by Shona McCombes. Revised on March 9, A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods , and gaps in the existing research. Writing a literature review involves finding relevant publications such as books and journal articles , critically analyzing them, and explaining what you found.
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How to Write a Literature Review

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How much literature is enough? | James Hayton's PhD advice website

This question was recently asked in the comments thread on another post. Like many simple questions, the answer is a bit complicated. The short answer is that, as an academic, you never stop reviewing the literature because you need to be aware of the latest developments in your field and what your competitors are doing. I don't think this sufficiently answers the question though. As a PhD student aiming to submit a thesis there has to be a cutoff point somewhere; a point where you stop adding new content and consolidate what you have into a submissible form. There also needs to be some way of filtering and prioritising literature and deciding which references to follow up. The first thing to know is that you cannot read it all.
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How much literature is enough?

In essence, a literature review identifies, evaluates and synthesises the relevant literature within a particular field of research. It illuminates how knowledge has evolved within the field, highlighting what has already been done, what is generally accepted, what is emerging and what is the current state of thinking on the topic. In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap i. However, your literature review does not need to be inclusive of every article and book that has been written on your topic because that will be too broad.
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A literature review is a summary of studies related to a particular area of research. It identifies and summarizes all the relevant research conducted on a particular topic. It is important that your literature review is focused.
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