Authors and Advisors


Dr. Helen Aveyard

Dr. Helen Aveyard is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University, and author of the best-selling textbook Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care, now in its 4th edition. She is also the co-author of A Beginner's Guide to Evidence-Based Practice in Health and Social Care, with Pam Sharp; A Beginner's Guide to Critical Thinking and Writing in Health and Social Care, with Pam Sharp and Mary Woolliams; and A Postgraduate's Guide to Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care, with Sheila Payne and Nancy Preston, all published by Open University Press. She has also co-written Nursing Research with Pam Moule and Margaret Goodman, published by Sage. Helen has a strong interest in teaching research and evidence-based practice, and in supervising MSc and PhD students.

Lead advisors

Dr. Julio Rivera

Dr. Julio Rivera researches "Big Data" problems and applies methodologies emphasizing "Business Geographics," which integrates Geographic Information Science (GIS), visualization techniques, and statistics. He brings this approach to problems in Marketing, Real Estate, Retail Site Selection, Economic Geography, and Data Analytics and challenges students to use these methods to solve problems and conduct research. He has directed numerous undergraduate student senior thesis projects, many of which were presented at regional and national conferences. He was the recipient of the 2002 Carthage College Distinguished Teaching Award, and is an Emeritus President of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Rivera regularly serves as a consultant to other colleges and universities as they develop undergraduate research programs. He serves as a consultant to government, business, and higher education and served as the Provost of Carthage College overseeing all aspects of the College's academic administration (2010–14).

Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves

Stuart Hampton-Reeves is Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Research-Informed Teaching, and Director of Research for the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He is Chair of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research.


Dr. Dacia Charlesworth

Dr. Dacia Charlesworth is the Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships at Butler University. Prior to Butler, she was a University Ambassador at Valdosta State University (2012–15), an Associate Professor of Communication and member of the Graduate Faculty at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (2008–12), Director of the University Honors Programs and Associate Professor of Communication at Robert Morris University (2002–08), and the founding Director of the Oral Communication Across the Curriculum Program at Southeast Missouri State University (1999–2001).

She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and a B.A. in Communication from Arizona State University.

She is the author of over 120 journal articles, book chapters, and conference presentations. Her work has been published in Women's Studies in Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Women & Language, Communication Teacher, and Teaching Ideas for the Basic Communication Course.

She received the 2007 Engaged Faculty Award from the Student Government Association at Robert Morris University, the 2005 Outstanding New Teacher Award from the Central States Communication Association, and the 2005 Distinguished Faculty Award from the Student Government Association at Robert Morris University. In 2004, she was also selected as a Distinguished Member of Robert Morris University's chapter of National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Accessibility advisor

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Masters in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics, and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialized in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Masters in Digital Education, and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.

Course structure



  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes

Course files

    Module 1: The importance of a literature review

    • The importance of a literature review
    • Understanding and planning your approach to the literature review
    • Defining and focusing your research question
    • Module summary

    Module 2: Searching for relevant literature

    • Preparing your search
    • Database search strategy
    • Information gathering as a transferable skill
    • Module summary

    Module 3: Critical appraisal of the literature

    • Recognizing different types of literature
    • Using critical appraisal tools
    • Evaluating abstracts
    • Critical evaluation of sources and claims
    • Reflecting on and applying literature evaluation skills
    • Module summary

    Module 4: Analyzing your literature and writing your review

    • Thinking about your analysis
    • Getting started with your analysis
    • Comparing and contrasting literature
    • Doing your data analysis
    • Module summary


  • Course summary
  • Resource bank
  • References

Course features

Course features include:

  • A comic strip exploring why it is important to conduct a literature review
  • A jigsaw activity highlighting all the important aspects to consider when comparing and contrasting the literature.

Supporting institutions

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Oakland University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Nebraska – Omaha
  • University of Southern Maine
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • University of Wisconsin – Platteville
  • University of Wisconsin – River Falls
  • University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point