Skip to Main Content

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.



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:

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.