Systematic reviews

What does it mean to search systematically?

This guide is for anyone wanting to conduct a systematic review. This type of review follows a strict procedure and is usually very comprehensive. You can use part of the method described in this guide to make your search more systematic even if you are not planning to follow all the steps. 

A systematic review is a literature review that aims to identify, evaluate, select and compile all available research, within a specific topic area or research question, through a transparent process. Literature searches for a systematic review need to be exhaustive, and you should be prepared to take all results into consideration. 

The process of doing a systematic review

Below is a model of the process of doing a systematic review, from deciding a topic to publication. 

Illustration by Jessica Kaufman, Cochrane Consumers & Communication Review Group, Centre for Health Communication & Participation, La Trobe University, 2011. CC-BY-SA.