finding gaps in the literature

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Finding Gaps in the Literature

In this week’s Discussion, you continue your search process and add another layer of investigation. The library search process is fundamental to developing your knowledge of our research area. Another crucial skill is being able to identify research gaps. As you review the articles you have found, consider which areas in the topic you are investigating have not been addressed adequately. As you consider possible gaps, try to identify those areas that are unexplored but are also feasible to pursue and also interesting to you and the scientific community engaged in this academic conversation.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Return to the Walden library and conduct a search using the same key words and terms you used in the Week 3 Discussion but include the words “literature review” or “systematic review” in your search. This will bring up reviews of the literature in the area.
  • Read two review articles related to your topic.
  • Consider: Can you identify what may constitute a gap in the literature?
  • Search in the library again and see if you find any studies that address the gap you have identified. If so, try again until you find what you consider a true gap and two articles related to the gap in some way.
  • Review Chapter 1, “The Dissertation” (p. 6), in the Stadtlander text.
  • Review the blog post “Defining a Gap in the Literature: On Proving the Presence of an Absence.”
  • Review the media piece Literature Reviews: Common Errors Made When Conducting a Literature Review.

Note: In Week 6, you will be using one of your review articles to create an Annotated Bibliography as part of the Final Assignment and to be posted in the Week 6 Discussion.

Post by Day 3 a description of:

  • How you went about your search this week
  • The keywords and terms used
  • The gap you identified and an explanation of why you believe it is a true gap


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