The beginning of the research and evaluation process can be daunting.
You know the topic or the question you are trying to answer, but maybe little else. You might begin by Googling your question. A Google search of “How effective are labor market policies?” produced about 5.4 million results. So, you might conduct a formal literature review and narrow your search to previous research studies.
Done correctly, a literature review provides context. It reveals what others have done to puzzle through similar questions or challenges. Done incorrectly, a literature review can confirm preconceived beliefs or give high and low quality studies equal weight.
When beginning the process, you may want to search for or conduct a meta-analysis: a special class of literature review that quantitatively synthesizes the results of many studies.