The need to know and the good to know

There are two main purposes of the literature review of research, firstly to provide a background introduction to the chosen research area, and secondly to provide a justification for the research about to be undertaken by documenting how the topic under investigation relates to previous research. To do this, the researcher will need to cast a net widely and be open to a wide range of prior research which is directly, or indirectly, relevant to their specific research topic. This is where the first problem might arise. How does a new researcher know if something is relevant or simply something of tangential interest?

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