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Table 1 Guidelines in assessing the validity and reliability of the literature review (

From: Challenges and opportunities in crop simulation modelling under seasonal and projected climate change scenarios for crop production in South Africa

Action Validation
Phase 1: Design
 In relationship to the overall research field of crop simulation and data requirement, is this literature review needed and does it make a substantial, practical, or theoretical contribution?
 Are the motivation, the purpose, and the research question(s) for reviewing the challenges and opportunities in crop modelling clearly stated and motivated?
 Does the review account for the previous literature review and other relevant literature?
 Is the approach/methodology for the literature review clearly stated?
 Is this the most appropriate approach to address the research problem?
 Are the search strategy clearly and transparently described and motivated (including search terms, databases used, and explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria)?
Phase 2: Conduct
 Is the search process appropriate for this type of review?
 Have proper measures been taken to ensure research quality?
 Can it be trusted that the final sample is appropriate and in concordance with the review’s overall purpose?
Phase 3: Data abstraction and analysis
 Is the data abstracted from the article appropriate in concordance with the overall purpose of the review?
 Is the process for abstracting data accurately described?
 Have proper measures been taken to ensure quality data abstraction?  
 Is the chosen data analysis technique appropriate with the overall research question and the data abstracted?
 Is the analysis process properly described and transparent?
Phase 4: Structuring and writing the review
 Is the review article organized coherently in relation to the overall approach and research question?
 Can the overall method of conducting the literature review be replicated?
 Is the result of the review reported appropriately and clearly?
 Does the article synthesize the literature review findings into a clear and valuable contribution to the topic?
 Are questions or directions for further research included? Are the results from the review useable?