Writing a journal article – scoping review

Yes…I did a course on writing a literature review which gave me an introduction..

No…it’s not helping me write my scoping review for my Phd

Because…it needs to be publishable…


So although I haven’t said hello in awhile, hopefully this will help someone else with writing their scoping review for publication as part of their PhD. 🙂

I haven’t finished it yet but I wanted to share some starting points.

Why? Because when I googled “scoping review” or “process to write a journal article” – I didn’t find anything that said:

Baby step 1) open your computer

Baby step 2) turn on your computer and breathe…

(Basically big, complicated articles that didn’t tell you the step by step details of how to get started and why in simple to understand language for baby PhDers like me).

Here’s my step 1:  What is a literature review?

Did you know there are different types of literature reviews? I wish someone had said a scoping review is a type of literature review (they’re not different things).

Here’s a start:

Image result

The full spectrum of reviews is in this journal article (Grant and Booth, 2009) that is of academic standard (your supervisors will be happy if you reference this): Check out Table 1

This Pickering systematic review process has come in handy for PhDers.

Step 2:  Where do I start?

Step 3:  Step 1 and 2 above (your aim and criteria for the review)

My literature review is about my PhD topic.  So my aim and search criteria relates to that.

Example: PhD on Why green apples are sour?  Search criteria for literature review: Aim: to explore existing literature on green apples (don’t bias it by saying “sour” as your search should be broad to begin with). Major tip from my supervisor.

At this step I drafted with my supervisors the aim, search terms, inclusions and exclusions following this guide (Joanna Briggs Institute) methodology for scoping reviews.  Just google or ask your supervisors for guidelines for your particular scoping review relevant to your field / topic.

Step 4:  Search databases

Where do I start? What’s the best database for my topic/aim/interest?

(Lesson learnt: If you google “choosing a database” you’ll find out how to find a good computer database not one for a literature search)  ARGHHHHHH

So … I spoke to my university librarian because they know this stuff like in their sleep. BEST IDEA EVERRRR!! They’ll likely guide you through the following:

  1. Go to university library website
  2. subject guide
  3. search for your subject/topic/field of interest
  4. It’ll come up with the relevant databases
  5. Big tip: when you click in the database, sign in or log into the database, this will let you save your searches in a folder
  6. For the rest of how to do searches and search terms, I suggest asking your librarian and supervisor who will guide you to the best resources.

That’s all I’m up to for now…

Hopefully next post I’ll come back with the rest of the steps having completed a successful review that is publishable.

Best of luck everyone!!

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