This guide focuses on the searching aspect of the systematic review process. It contains guidance on formulating the review question, developing the search protocol, the specific search techniques required by a systematic review, database searching, and grey literature. It also provides guidance on reference management software, which is important for organising the large volume of references which the searches will generate, critical appraisal tools, and reporting and synthesising results.
Use the left hand blue menu options to navigate through this guide which follow a step-by-step process.
High quality systematic reviews aim to:
Hemingway, P. & Brereton, N. (2009). What is a systematic review? (2nd ed.). What is...? series. http://www.bandolier.org.uk/painres/download/whatis/Syst-review.pdf
It is easy to confuse systematic reviews with literature reviews done in a systematic way. This table shows the main differences between systematic reviews and literature reviews.
Kysh, L. (2013). Difference between a systematic review and a literature review. Figshare. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.766364.v1
The Review Methodology Decision Making Tree (link to PDF) produced by Cornell University Library can assist you with deciding on the type of review that is right for you:
"Review Methodologies Decision Tree" by Cornell University Library is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
A systematic review typically follows these steps:
From UCL's Stages in a systematic review guide
This short video, by The Evidence Synthesis Academy at Brown University, provides a useful overview of the basic steps in undertaking a systematic review.