What to do for a literature review? - A synthesis of literature review practices

Alfred Benedikt Brendel, Simon Trang, Mauricio Marrone, Sascha Lichtenberg, Lutz M. Kolbe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Literature reviews are an essential part of science, helping to gain a deeper understanding of a research topic, related theories, commonly applied methods, and potential research gaps. Conducting a literature review can follow various approaches, ranging from detailed methods to general guidelines, each emphasizing different parts of the literature review process. However, identifying which method or guideline to follow can be complicated and confusing because of the “jungle” of options. To address this challenge, this study applies a literature review approach on literature review studies and combines it with a method engineering process to develop a composite literature review method. The developed composite method provides an overview of the various tasks, decisions, available analysis methods, and challenges within a literature review process and also options to address them. Overall, the developed method constitutes the first step towards a summary of literature review practices, providing guidelines, examples, and best practices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAMCIS 2020 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication26th Americas Conference on Information Systems
Place of PublicationOnline
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781733632546
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event26th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2020 - Salt Lake City, Virtual, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 202014 Aug 2020


Conference26th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, Virtual


  • Flowchart
  • Guidelines
  • IS Research
  • Literature Review
  • Literature Search
  • Synthesis


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