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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Systematic & Scoping Reviews : Methodology Behind the Search Strategies

This guide is primarily for students and other researchers conducting systematic reviews and scoping reviews for coursework, thesis/dissertation requirements, or for other research purposes.

Book a Research Consultation

Once you’ve used this guide  and the Guide to Comprehensive Searching  and still have questions, you can book a research consultation if you need further help with searching. Librarians at Gerstein can teach you strategies to:

  • Refine your research question
  • Develop comprehensive search strategies
  • Determine which databases to search
  • Minimize bias in your search

Books on systematic reviews

Standards/guidelines to follow when conducting a systematic review

Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews
Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2011


Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions
Cochrane Collaboration, 2011

  • guidance on how to prepare a Cochrane systematic review
  • Available online: Cochrane Handbook


Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (University of York)


Campbell Collaboration Policies and Guidelines Series
Systematic reviews of social interventions


JBI Reviewers Manual
Joanna Briggs Institute guide to conducting JBI systematic reviews

Guidelines for reporting a scoping review

A guideline to standardize the reporting of scoping reviews – Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) is currently in process.

Help with writing

The Gerstein Library does not provide help or assistance with the wrting process.  This assistance is supplied by the Writing Centres on campus.

Writing resources

Toolkit: How to write a great research paper using reporting guidelines

  •  toolkit from the Equator Network
  • examples of good reporting, guidelines and more

Guidance on scientific writing

  • guidelines, books, and a free course on biomedical writing

Writing a biomedical research paper: a guide to structure and style

  • online book provided from the University of Toronto Libraries

How to write, publish, & present in the health sciences: a guide for clinicians and laboratory researchers

  • print book for researchers new to writing & publishing