According to Arlene Fink, a literature review is a "systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and interpreting the existing body of recorded work produced by researchers scholars and practicioners."
Baumeister and Leary state that, "Literature reviews serve a scientific field by providing a much-needed bridge between the vast and scattered assortment of articles on a topic and the reader who does not have time or resources to track them down."
Narrative Review - assessment and summary of research completed on a specific topic
Systematic Review- assesses and summarizes research on a specifc topic using a standardized methodology to gather and evaluate the research studies
Meta-Synthesis- a qualitative review of research studies which synthesizes information from multiple studies on a specific topic
Meta-Analysis- a quantitative review of research studies which gathers together and analyzes data from multiple studies on a specifc topic