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Research Toolkit: Literature Gap and Future Research

This Guide feeds page links into the Research Toolkit on the library website












What is a 'gap in the literature'

"The literature research gap is the missing or incomplete piece of data in the literature, which has not been explored or ventured into so far. It can be anything to everything from a population of sample-sizes, types, etc"  (pubrica academy, 2019) For more information about gap statements visit this page:

Identifying the Gap

If you think about research in terms of telling a story where each writer or author has a part of the story to tell and existing literature is the story so far. Conducting a systematic literature review for all related research on your topic and then critically analysing the results will enable you to identify any missing pieces of information within the body of knowledge. Your job in the literature review is to see where all the loose ends are in the various fields of study that are most closely related to what you want to do, and from there you can then determine what needs to be done next. 


Future Research

Following on from your critical analysis of the literature, you will also need to identify what has or has not been learned from the research already conducted. Be sure to read the Discussion and Suggestions for Future Research sections of articles so you can synthesise and identify what is already known or unknown; then plan for any future research.

See the example below from :

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