Systematic literature reviews: Four applications for interdisciplinary research

Christian Burgers*, Britta C. Brugman, Amber Boeynaems

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Many projects in the field of pragmatics are interdisciplinary, for instance because they combine elements from linguistics with a specific field of application (e.g., pedagogy, health, or politics). Furthermore, a trend towards projects in larger research consortia and/or with societal partners entails that interdisciplinarity will remain a feature of pragmatics projects in the near future. While such interdisciplinary projects can lead to important new insights, they also present specific challenges. In this contribution, we propose that systematic literature reviews are an appropriate research method to use at the start of an interdisciplinary research project. Systematic literature review is a type of research synthesis that can be used to create an overview of the state of the art of research on a specific topic. We briefly outline the steps of a systematic literature review, and give four applications of systematic literature reviews in interdisciplinary research: (1) mapping different approaches to the same topic across disciplines, (2) bringing together different theoretical perspectives, (3) contrasting different research methods used to answer the same research question and (4) quantitative meta-analysis. We illustrate each type of application with an example of a systematic literature review focusing on (metaphorical) framing in political discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Systematic literature review
  • research synthesis
  • Interdisciplinary Research
  • metaphorical framing
  • Framing
  • Metaphor


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