Literature reviews as a means of communicating progress in research

2014-07-coverCREATe Working Paper 14/7

Ruth Towse (2014)


Literature reviews are a standard means of communicating and evaluating the state of academic research that are useful both for those working in a particular field and for those who wish to find out what others are doing. They are limited, though, to what has been achieved to date. It seems to be the case, however, that reporting results of literature reviews to the industries requires more than just summaries: it also requires clarification of the environment of academic research and publication. Academic journals do not (or may not have) publish(ed) articles on some topics as there is neither academic interest nor expertise, or a topic may just not be in anyone’s career interests; journals can only publish articles that are submitted; and some topics may not be amenable to academic research because access to data is lacking or there are other information problems. Evaluation of progress often involves identifying gaps in knowledge and topics for further research. It can therefore seem to industry that academics are neither addressing the problems that matter to them but are more concerned with their own. These issues are discussed in this paper.