Selection Criterion in Literature Review – How to Make It Best

Students just hate the thing I am going to describe today. Let alone working on that; they do not even want to hear it. Literally, it gives them nightmares, and they have to burn their midnight oil to get over that thing. You must be thinking, what this horrifying thing is. The name of that thing is the literature review. It is the backbone of any thesis, dissertation and assignment. A strong literature review can bring many good results.

            What do you think is the most important thing in a literature review? Yes, you are right if you guessed about the selection of research. Selecting the right research papers to review is very important. Now, why is it important? You will find an answer to this question in today’s discussion. For now, let’s start with a brief introduction to the literature review.

A literature review is a process of reviewing the existing literature in accordance with research questions. It gives a detailed review of the past methodologies and results obtained by using those methods. It will be not wrong to say that a strong review of the current and previous knowledge is the backbone of any research. For an effective review, selecting the right papers is also important.

What are the criteria for selecting the best research articles to review?

            Selecting the best research articles to review is not an easy task. There is always the danger of bias coming into play. Students like to select easy and short articles. The reality is that such papers often contain inadequate or false information. Therefore, having a guideline by experts of dissertation writing services for selecting the best articles for literature review is important.


            The most important thing in selecting articles is relevance. The articles must be relevant and in line with the research questions and objectives. Finding your keywords in an entirely different research article is common due to the availability of so much information. Every researcher needs to select the papers that are relevant to the research. The research objectives can provide great assistance in this regard. They do not let you stray here and there. The selected papers must target the research’s main points clearly and concisely.


            The update dates of the research articles are also a great criterion that you must follow. Do not use too old or past research articles. With the rapidly advancing world, there is a lot of research going on in each field. You should always choose the updated knowledge of the field to review. It gives you insights into the recent happenings of the research area.

            Using old and vague research except for taking theories does not do any good to your literature review. The base theories do not get changed over time, and you can take them from old papers. The methodologies and methods change, and this is why you should always use updated content.


Biasness is a major player in research. Many a time, the research articles are biased about their research topic. The goal of these articles is to just publicise their forged and false information. You will not see any hard work in them. Such papers can easily be identified by reading through them. You should not select biased research articles.

What is the inclusion criteria for the literature review?

            After the selection criteria, let’s talk about the inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria are the points that every research article must have. They should not be included in the literature review process without those points. Those points are as follows;

  • The included research articles must have compared some treatments. Treatments mean methodologies; it is not a medical treatment.
  • The research articles must be experimental in case of scientific dissertations. Laboratory experiments play an important role in any research. Therefore, you should only select experiment-based articles.
  • The publication time of the research articles must be less than 5 years. You can take theories from papers even older than this time frame. The general literature must fall in this category.

What are the criteria in arranging literature?

            Arranging or organising literature is also a big headache. There are different ways to do that. Below you can find all the ways of arranging a literature review;

Chronological order

The first way of arranging the literature is the chronological way. This method involves describing the selected literature in the manner of its date of publication. The older ones come at the first, followed by the most recent ones. For example, the researcher selected two research articles published in 2015 and 2018. The paper with the 2015 year of publication will come first, followed by the 2018’s paper. This is the chronological way of arranging the literature.

Thematic order

            The thematic way of arrangement is the second method. It does not involve the publication date; rather, it depends on the topics. Upon discussing a certain topic, the research reviews all the literature related to that topic. As mentioned earlier, there is no influence of the publication date. All the papers that stated that the topic in their text would come first. The order of those papers does not depend on anything. You can mention them in any position you want.

Methodological order

            The methodological order of arranging the literature is the least common method. The literature review process involves a mention of the methods used in that research. A review based on those methods is a methodological review. While describing a particular method, all the findings of the research articles related to that method come first. For example, when discussing the interview method, you can discuss all the papers related to this.


            Writing a literature review is the hardest part of a dissertation. Most delays happen in this session. Students do not like to read tons of information and review it. Often, they do mistakes in selecting the right articles. The above guidelines are a perfect description of what to consider and not while writing a literature review.

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abdul waheed

Abdul Waheed is a seasoned business blogger, specializing in entrepreneurship and small business management. With over 10 years of experience, he offers invaluable insights and practical guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them navigate the challenges of starting and growing a successful business.

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