Academic communities refer to what has been written on a topic as the literature on the topic. A literature review is a comprehensive evaluation of the important research that has been done on the topic and should provide an overview of the current knowledge on a topic, and/or to provide a context for new research.
A literature review is NOT just a summary. Even though summarizing the existing research is an important part of a literature review, even more important is the discussion and analysis of the existing research findings.
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