Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Systematic Reviews

What is a "systematic review"?

Comprehensive literature search and analysis on topics that focus on research questions.  Systematic Reviews follow these steps -- identify, verify, extract, synthesize, communicate -- and require rigorous, transparent methodology and assessment to minimize bias.

Not to be confused with...

Scoping Review

Narrative Review

Meta Analysis

- identify knowledge gaps

- clarify concepts

- systematic review precursor

- confirm relevance of inclusion/exclusion criteria

- overview of published works

- general image of existing knowledge

- ensure framework, methodology

- situate study within literature

- combine results of multiple studies

- derive statistical estimate closest to truth, effect size

- contrast studies; identify patterns

Considerations

Has one already been done?  Check PubMed (“Systematic Reviews” limit) and Prospero (in process).
If so, then what is the quality level?
If five years old, then may be time to do another one.
For transparency and comprehensiveness, systematic reviews commonly adhere to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement.