What are you required to do?

To develop this skill in this unit, you are required to undertake a systematic quantitative literature review on a selected topic, following the approach developed by Dr Catherine Pickering at Griffith University. This review will identify when and who did the research, geographical location where the research was conducted, types of methods used and variables measured. You will be required to extract and assess the major themes covered by this literature, drawing attention to any debates and inconsistencies in findings, and will identify knowledge gaps for this topic. Your literature review should be well organised, with an ‘introduction’ component that gives the context and clearly articulates the aims of the review. The ‘body’ of the review will contain your ‘results’ and ‘discussion’, summarising the literature base, and the main themes covered by this literature. This component will be by far the longest part of the literature review. The literature review should end with a ‘conclusion’ component that summarizes the results of the review.

You will be conducting your review on a topic related to recreational trails. One of the goals of the City of Albany, located 400km south of Perth in the Great Southern Region, is to become a World Class Trail Tourism Hub (TTH). To facilitate this, the City has developed the ‘City of Albany Trails Hub Strategy 2015 – 2025’. In addition, the Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence (GSCORE), a not-for-profit organisation established to support the growth of outdoor recreation in the Great Southern region, has spearheaded the development of the ‘Regional Trails Master Plan’. This document identifies a ten-year program of trail infrastructure development for the Great Southern region, and focuses on all types of trails, including terrestrial trails (e.g. walking, cycling, horse-riding, off-road vehicles) and aquatic trails (e.g. snorkelling, paddling). To assist with the implementation of this plan, GSCORE requires more information. You will be assisting the organisation by conducting a systematic quantitative literature review on ONE of the following topics:

Environmental and social impacts of mountain biking on recreational trails

Environmental and social impacts of horseback riding on recreational trails

Development and management of trails along old or disused railway lines/tracks (‘rail trails’)

Development and management of paddle (aquatic) trails

More Instructions:

1. Read the background material provided. Pickering and Byrne (2014) outline the benefit of undertaking systematic reviews; the other three papers on the reading list (Steven et al. 2011; Guitart et al. 2012 and Roy et al. 2012) are examples of systematic literature reviews in the field of environmental studies.

2. Determine a set of suitable key words for your topic.

3. Using these key terms, search for appropriate literature on your selected topic using search engines such as Scopus, Science Direct, ProQuest, Web of Knowledge, Sage, Google Scholar and Google (You do not have to use all of these – select a couple of these search engines to use).

4. Decide on your eligibility criteria for inclusion of studies in your review (e.g. when published, language, publication status in terms of whether primary or ‘grey’ literature).

5. Keep a record of the number of references you identified, screened and determined for eligibility and included using the PRISMA flow diagram provided.

6. Prepare a ‘stand alone’ systematic quantitative review article suitable for publication in the journal entitled “Journal of Environmental Management”. (VERY IMPORTANT). Your manuscript must contain the essential elements – Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Figures and Tables with Captions.