According to Cochrane:
“A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit methods aimed at minimizing bias, in order to produce more reliable findings that can be used to inform decision making.”
A systematic review is not the same as a narrative review or a literature review. Unlike other kinds of reviews, systematic reviews must be as thorough and unbiased as possible, and must also make explicit how the search was conducted.
The following resources are considered to be the best in the field of Systematic Reviews in terms of guidance and reporting.
METHODS & GUIDANCE
PRISMA Checklist - This 27-item checklist (2009) ensures proper and transparent reporting for each element in a systematic review and meta-analysis. Please note that an updated version is forthcoming.
Check out the supplementary resources page for additional information on systematic reviews, including online courses and books.
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