The PRISMA statement defines a systematic review as "a review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may or may not be used to analyze and summarize the results of the included studies. Meta-analysis refers to the use of statistical techniques in a systematic review to integrate the results of included studies." 1
In the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, the key characteristics of a systematic review are listed as:
Register your protocol. Several options include:
Grey Literature: Trial Registries
The Systematic Review Toolbox (SR ToolBox) is a searchable catalog of tools that support various tasks within the systematic review process. Tools include software tools, quality assessment / critical appraisal checklists, and reporting standards guidelines. A few of the featured tools are listed below, some free and some subscription-based. Many of the subscription-based tools offer a free trial if you are interested in exploring the tool.
The Brown University School of Public Health Evidence Synthesis Academy has developed a series of tutorials and videos about conducting systematic reviews. Here is the introductory video:
According to the Cochrane website, "Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, and people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere. Our global independent network gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help you make informed choices about treatment and we have been doing this for 25 years." This video defines a systematic review:
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