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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.

What are systematic reviews

Steps in a systematic review

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This article outlines the steps in performing a systematic review:  Umscheid, C.A. 2013. A Primer on performing systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Clin Infect Dis 57(5): 725-734. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit333.

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 systematic review

Guidance on reporting your systematic review is found in Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA Statement.

The above link provides access to:

  • PRISMA checklist
  • PRISMA flow diagram
  • explanation and elaboration documents/articles

Books on systematic reviews