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Systematic and Other Reviews: Home

This guide contains information about systematic reviews and links to resources to help you conduct one.

Welcome

 

This guide contains a general overview and practical tips for conducting a systematic review, up to the screening stage.

Figuring Out Your Review

 

Before you get started, be aware there are many types of reviews you can conduct to answer your research question. The type of review you do depends on a few key details, including the size of your team, the amount of time you have, your discipline, and your research question. The chart below is a good illustration of things you may consider when choosing a review type for your research.

A diagram showing the unique qualities of five types of reviews: Rapid reviews, narrative reviews, scoping reviews, systematic reviews, and systematic reviews with meta-analysis

 

What is a systematic review?

 

A systematic review aims to answer a specific research question using the best available evidence.

As the name suggests, a systematic review follows a methodical process of searching and evidence selection to minimise bias and present findings.

If done well, systematic reviews are highly reliable and can be used to inform policy, guidelines and decision-making for patient care.

What is involved in a systematic review?

 

The steps involved in a systematic review are as follows: 

  1. Define a question
  2. Write a protocol
  3. Design the search
  4. Run the search
  5. Export articles and deduplicate
  6. Screening
  7. Data extraction
  8. Study appraisal
  9. Interpret and synthesise
  10. Report

There may be disciplinary differences and norms for how particular steps are carried out. 

If you still aren't sure whether a systematic review is right for your research, the information below shows the work involved for a systematic review compares against other types of reviews.

Handouts