Scoping Reviews: Expanding Methodological Approaches to Literature Reviews in Adult Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Literature reviews map the research landscape in a topic area, identify gaps that new research can address, or frame a future research project. Literature reviews inform research and are integral to developing evidence-based policies. In adult education, systematic, critical, integrative, and historical reviews have been conducted. Scoping reviews, however, have yet to be widely adopted, although they can provide adult educators with a systematic process for reviewing a heterogeneous body of literature in adult education. This article explores why scoping reviews are a good fit for adult education and presents a systematic approach to conducting scoping reviews. The paper presents an expanded nine-step scoping review process that begins with the conception of an idea and ends with writing a manuscript for publication. The article discusses best practices, highlights challenges, and provides suggestions to help adult education researchers avoid common pitfalls when conducting scoping reviews.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalAdult Learning
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Literature review
  • Literature review methodology
  • scoping review


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