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Systematic Reviews

What is a Systematic Review?

The purpose of a systematic review is to sum up the best available research on a specific question. This is done by synthesizing the results of several studies. A systematic review uses transparent procedures to find, evaluate and synthesize the results of relevant research. Procedures are explicitly defined in advance, in order to ensure that the exercise is transparent and can be replicated. This practice is also designed to minimize bias. Studies included in a review are screened for quality, so that the findings of a large number of studies can be combined. Peer review is a key part of the process; qualified independent researchers control the author's methods and results. 

A systematic review must have: 

  • Clear inclusion/ exclusion criteria
  • An explicit search strategy
  • Systematic coding and analysis of included studies
  • Meta-analysis (where possible)

Use the following resources to learn more about systematic reviews and how to conduct one. If you need additional help, contact your librarian. 


What are Systematic Reviews by Cochrane
Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses by Rahul Patwari
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