A systematic review uses repeatable analytical methods to collect secondary data and analyse it. It aims to identify, appraise and synthesise all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question.
- Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. The official guide that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions. All authors should consult the Handbook for guidance on the methods used in Cochrane systematic reviews.
- Centre for Reviews and Dissemination: Systematic Reviews: CRD’s Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Health Care. CRD's guidance continues to be recommended as a source of good practice by agencies such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). It is used widely both nationally and internationally.
- University of York: Systematic Reviews: A Practical Guide. Pages offering a brief introduction on how to conduct a systematic review
The review protocol sets out the methods to be used in the review and provides an explicit plan for your work. Decisions about the review question, inclusion criteria, search strategy, study selection, data extraction, quality assessment, data synthesis and plans for dissemination should be addressed.
- PRISMA: What is a Protocol?
- Centre for Reviews and Dissemination: Chapter 1.2 The Review Protocol
- PROSPERO: An international database of prospectively registered systematic reviews in health and social care: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/
- Centre for Reviews and Dissemination: Guidance for registering a systematic review protocol with PROSPERO
- Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions: Chapter 4: Searching for and selecting studies
- Centre for Reviews and Dissemination: Systematic Reviews: CRD’s Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Health Care
- Levay, P. (2018) Systematic searching: practical ideas for improving results. Facet Publishing. Available here (Athens login required)
- Holly, C. et al. (2012) Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice. Springer Publishing. Available here (Athens login required)
Our Information Specialists offer tailor-made training sessions to support you with searching for systematic reviews. Please visit the following page to book a session: Training
If you would like an Information Specialist embedded into your systematic review team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave your contact details and we will be in touch to discuss your requirements and determine the level of support we are able to offer.