In this article, we explore a 7-step process for conducting a comprehensive literature review (CLR). Specifically, after describing each of the steps, we explain the importance of expanding the search beyond traditional databases through 5 multimodal tasks that Onwuegbuzie and Frels (2016) refer to as MODES (Media, Observations, Documents, Experts, and Secondary Data), which can be undertaken separately, or which may interact with each other. Then, we highlight and provide an exemplar process for the Experts task, which motivates researchers to identify, to seek out, and to interview 1 or more experts associated with their research question(s). Furthermore, we illustrate the value of conducting the formal or informal expert interviews within online and offline spaces, not only because they provide rich and the most up-to-date information that can be used to inform, to guide, and to expand the CLR process, but also that they can generate relevant information that represent one or more of the other MODES.


Comprehensive Literature Review, Multimodal, MODES, Experts, Online and Offline Spaces, Offline-Based Interviews, Online-Based Interviews, Methodology of Story-Sharing

Author Bio(s)

Alana Morris is a doctoral candidate in the Literacy Program at Sam Houston State University and the Director of Personalized Professional Learning in Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston, Texas. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: afm008@SHSU.edu.

Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University, where he teaches doctoral-level courses in qualitative research, quantitative research, and mixed research, including program evaluation. Further, he is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg. As immediate Past President of the Mixed Methods International Research Association (MMIRA), and as someone who is passionate about qualitative research, quantitative research, and mixed research, Tony co-authored the SAGE mixed research textbook with Rebecca Frels (Lamar University), entitled, Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach, in which they conceptualized the notion of MODES that motivated the current article. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: tonyonwuegbuzie@aol.com.

Hannah R. Gerber is an Associate Professor of Literacy at Sam Houston State University. Hannah teaches graduate and doctoral classes in qualitative methods, digital ethnography, and digital literacies. She has published extensively on the connection between video games and adolescent literacy in top peer-reviewed journals, has co-authored and co-edited multiple books, including co-authoring the SAGE book, Conducting Qualitative Research of Learning in Online Spaces, and has served as an invited keynote speaker at numerous national and international literacy, technology, and learning conferences. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: hrg004@SHSU.EDU.

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