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Systematic Reviews & Evidence Synthesis

UC San Diego Library Systematic Review Service

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.

Quality of Evidence Pyramid

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   Resources by Levels of Evidence