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Systematic Reviews

UC San Diego Library Systematic Review Service

UC San Diego Library Systematic Review Service

Systematic Reviews (sometimes called evidence syntheses) are a form of literature review that follows a standards-based protocol in order to reduce bias and produce reliable, reproducible, and accurate conclusions. UC San Diego Library's Systematic Review Service is a program to support researchers by providing:

  • instruction on systematic literature searching
  • guidance on search standards and guidelines
  • advisement on database selection
  • recommendations on search strategy formulation
  • guidance on avoiding duplication of existing systematic reviews

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What is a Systematic Review?

"A systematic review is a critical assessment and evaluation of all research studies that address a particular issue. The researchers use an organized method of locating, assembling, and evaluating a body of literature on a particular topic using a set of specific criteria. A systematic review typically includes a description of the findings of the collection of research studies. The systematic review may also include a quantitative pooling of data, called a meta-analysis."

-- AHRQ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality     Image result for ahrq logo

"A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making."

-- Cochrane Reviews      

Types of Literature Reviews

There are many review types, serving a variety of purposes
A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies Maria J. Grant  Andrew Booth   Health Information and Libraries Journal   Volume26, Issue2  June 2009 Pages 91-108

The expansion of evidence‐based practice across sectors has lead to an increasing variety of review types... the full potential of these review types may be lost amongst a confusion of indistinct and misapplied terms. The objective of this study is to provide descriptive insight into the most common types of reviews, with illustrative examples from health and health information domains.

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   Resources by Levels of Evidence