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Integrated Review Scope – Defining the Scope

Integrated Review Scope

Defining the scope is a foundational step in conducting an Integrated Review, a method widely used by college students and professionals in research and data analysis. This article focuses exclusively on how to effectively define the scope for an Integrated Review, a critical phase that shapes the direction and relevance of your research.

Understanding the Importance of Scope in Integrated Reviews

The scope of an Integrated Review serves as the framework for your research. It outlines the boundaries of your study, determining what will be included and what will be excluded. A well-defined scope is vital to ensure that your review is focused, manageable, and relevant to your research objectives.

Step 1: Identifying Your Research Topic

Defining the scope begins with identifying a clear, concise research topic. This requires understanding the broader area of study and then narrowing it down to a specific aspect that is both significant and researchable. This step is crucial as it lays the groundwork for the entire review process.

Step 2: Establishing Research Questions

After pinpointing your topic, the next step is to formulate specific research questions. These questions should be aligned with your topic and help further refine the scope of your review. They will guide your literature search and help you stay focused on your research objectives.

Step 3: Determining Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

An integral part of defining the scope is setting clear inclusion and exclusion criteria. This involves deciding which types of studies, populations, outcomes, and methodologies will be included in or excluded from your review. These criteria must be aligned with your research questions and objectives.

Step 4: Assessing the Availability of Sources

Before finalizing the scope, assess the availability of sources relevant to your topic. This helps in ensuring that your scope is realistic and that there is enough material available to conduct a thorough review. If sources are scarce, you may need to broaden your scope, or if they are abundant, you might need to narrow it down further.

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Step 5: Consulting with Peers or Advisors

Consultation with peers or academic advisors can provide valuable insights into defining your scope. They can offer a different perspective, suggest potential areas to explore or warn of potential pitfalls. This step is particularly beneficial for students who are new to conducting Integrated Reviews.

Step 6: Finalizing the Scope

After thorough research and consultation, the final step is to articulate the scope of your Integrated Review clearly. This should include your research topic, questions, and the specific criteria for inclusion and exclusion. A well-articulated scope statement serves as a guide throughout the review process.


Defining the scope is a critical step in conducting an Integrated Review. It requires careful consideration, research, and consultation. A well-defined scope ensures that your Integrated Review is focused, manageable, and relevant, ultimately leading to more robust and meaningful findings.


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