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Systematic Reviews

A guide directing researchers on the systematic review process. Layout based on Doing a Systematic Review: A Student's Guide, 2nd Edition, by Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry, and Rumona Dickson.



Writing the review

What to Include

According to Doing a Systematic Review: A Student's Guide (2nd ed.), a review should include the following sections:

  • Title
  • Glossary and definitions
  • Table of Contents
  • Abstract or Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Research Question
  • Methods
    • Search strategy
    • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
    • Screening and selection
    • Data extraction and quality asessment
    • Data analysis
  • Results
  • Discussion
    • Overview of the review question and methods
    • Primary findings
    • How do findings fit within published research?
    • Strengths and limitations
      • Of reviewed literature AND your own review process
    • Generalizability of the results
    • Implications
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices

For more help writing, consult the following resources:

lib collab

Librarian Collaboration

Selected Gumberg librarians are expert searchers with advanced training on how to conduct comprehensive literature searches for systematic reviews.

Some specific ways that the librarians can help include:

  • Determining if a systematic review has already been done on the proposed topic
  • Recommending specific databases and other information sources
  • Collaborating to translate the research question into reproducible search strategies for relevant databases
  • Conducting literature searches
  • Delivering search results in formats that can work with citation management tools and other systematic review software
  • Writing the search methodology section of the review
  • Maintaining records of search steps and results and update searches as needed

If you would like a librarian to participate in your systematic review, please complete this form.