A large part of this one paper of ours is a literature review, that was carried out mostly by one person. In the statement on contributions (which is supposed to follow the CRediT taxonomy, Brand et al., 2015), we would like to honour this effort appropriately.

We however have a hard time figuring out which of the categories is appropriate (see Table 1 in Brand et al. 2015 and/or Allen et al. 2019). It seems to me that none fully encompass literature review. The following ones come closest IMHO:

  • Formal analysis: Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyse or synthesize study data
  • Investigation: Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection

To a lesser extent, also these might be appropriate:

  • Resources: Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools
  • Data curation: Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later re‐use

What are your opinions? Into which category of the CRediT taxonomy does literature review fit best?

-- edit: @Gaviota provided a link to a better accessible reference to the CRediT taxonomy: https://casrai.org/credit/

  • For those of us (I hope I am not the only one) who don't know what "CRediT" is, please provide a reference. All I can Google is "credit".
    – Nobody
    Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 14:14
  • 1
    To the up voter, the word "CRediT" appears in this question three times, in the title, the second line of the body and the last line. It cannot be a typo. Since you up voted it, I guess you know what it is, would you please tell us? Or give a reference?
    – Nobody
    Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 15:02
  • 2
    @scaaahu Google "credit contributor role taxonomy" and there it is. casrai.org/credit
    – Gaviota
    Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 16:30
  • @Gaviota Thanks for the info. It is the OP's responsibility to make sure the question is clear. We, the users, should not need to figure out what it is.
    – Nobody
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 2:57
  • 2
    There ARE two links to the CRediT taxonomy in the question, @scaahu
    – christoph
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


Literature review is "formal analysis." In particular, it "synthesizes" data.

Exceptions apply for poorly executed literature review.

  • Hm, the definition given on the linked page says "Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data." which would imply that's only for analysis of data collected in the study presented. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 2:43
  • @AzorAhai-him- For a literature review, "study data" is taken from the literature. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 8:45
  • a "large part of our paper" could go either way I guess Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 16:05

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