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Systematic Reviews

What is a systematic review?

According to the Cochrane Collaboration, a systematic review is a comprehensive literature review that attempts to “identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question.”  Systematic reviews synthesize the results of primary research on a given topic, extracting and interpreting data from selected studies while using explicit methods and strategies that reduce bias. Overall, due to the methods and reduction of bias, in the hierarchy of scientific evidence, systematic reviews are considered to be the strongest form of evidence.

Work with a Librarian

Systematic reviews are long and complex and working with a librarian can help you navigate this process. We currently offer two models of service* to help you and your team through this process. If you have any questions about systematic reviews or if you are interested in collaborating, please reach out to us!

*all models/services may not be available at all times to all disciplines* 

Co-Author Model

  • Assist with protocol registration
  • Select databases and grey literature resources
  • Write the search strategy for main database
  • Translate searches for all databases
  • Perform searches and export them to selected citation management software
  • De-duplication of search results
  • Upload search results to article screening software and assist with use of software (e.g. Covidence or Rayaan)
  • Write methods section for the manuscript
  • Document the search process
  • Help compile PRISMA diagram
  • Review final manuscript
  • Consult on all other areas of the systematic review (e.g. title/abstract screening, full text screening, risk of bias assessment, etc.)

Contributor Model (Acknowledgement Required)

  • Advise the research team on the systematic review process
  • Create or formulate the research question using the PICOT format (PICOT stands for Patient/Population/Problem Intervention/Indicator Comparison/Control Outcome Time/Type of Study)
  • Recommend databases that fit the scope of their research
  • Provide guidance on search strategy
  • Provide guidance or training on use of citation management software and/or article screening software (e.g. Covidence or Rayaan)