1: Creating research questions
- Identify the purpose of your study.
- Decide what information is needed.
- Identify what key research and evaluation questions need to be addressed.
- Define the research problem.
- Estimate the feasibility, time constraints and appropriateness of answering the required questions and refine and negotiate questions to be answered if necessary.
- Consider consulting with key stakeholders or practitioners in the area of interest.
2: Identifying and collecting research
- Create and document scope of information needed.
- Create a specific set of guidelines for the collection of information. This will make sure all research collected will be relevant and useful to your synthesis. Examples include details about the:
- target population
- program or intervention type
- use of comparison/control
- primary outcomes
- size of study
- subject area/field or sub-fields
- publication of effect size or theory basis.
- Conduct bibliographic searches and verify that articles are accessible. See the new and existing research page for ideas and tips).
3: Choosing the right research
- Check that the research found is relevant to your research questions.
- Sort found research by relevancy.
- Ensure that studies are of good quality (our research tools and templates on the conducting research and evaluation page and Lincoln and Guba’s paradigm to support the assessment of qualitative research can help researchers).
- Make note of any helpful or unhelpful factors found in research which may have affected the outcome.
4: Summarising research
- Summarise the findings for each research piece found.
- Pull information together and create a summary relating back to your research questions, including:
- any key elements
- emerging themes
- consistent or inconsistent research evidence
- results from meta-analyses
- results of statistical significance.
- Create a documented summary of these steps in a separate report, including:
- the background and purpose
- how the literature review was conducted
- what the literature tells us (if anything) including conclusions that can be drawn when answering the research question
- indications of future research including any gaps in the knowledge that needs to be addressed
- limitations of the review
- aspects of the review can be stated with confidence/less confidence
- any research inconsistencies
- implications for policy and the department.
- Provide a copy to experts in the area of research for advice and feedback, where applicable.
Research and Evaluation
Phone: 8226 1206
Email: decd.researchunit [at] sa.gov.au