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Which review is that? A guide to review types

A typology of literature reviews

This quick reference tool provides information on a wide range of literature review types that are available for research synthesis for publication and research purposes.

Review Types

Graphic and guide based on on the work of  Sutton et al., (2019) on 'Review Families'.


The guide includes:

  • a brief description of each review family and type
  • links to authoritative sources, guidelines (where available), examples and further reading for each review
  • a comparison table of commonly used literature review types
  • a decision tool to assist in selecting an appropriate family/literature review type for your research

*Note to students undertaking a literature review as part of coursework:

It is recommended that students undertaking a literature review as part of their coursework follow the literature review guidelines provided within their subject as they may include selected elements of full literature reviews suitable to the learning task.

Sutton, A., Clowes, M., Preston, L., & Booth, A. (2019). Meeting the review family: exploring review types and associated information retrieval requirements. Health Information & Libraries Journal36(3), 202-222. Full Text

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