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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Knowledge syntheses: Systematic & Scoping Reviews, and other review types

The knowledge synthesis process

While there are variations between different knowledge syntheses types, the table below reflects some of the steps they have in common. Some of these steps will vary, depending on the type review you're completing, but the overall process remains the same. For an overview of the different types of knowledge syntheses, go here.

STEP

TASKS

STAGE

1  Assemble team, review methodology & standards

PREPARATION

2  Develop research question
3  Determine if there's a review on your topic 
4  Determine best suited methodology for your review
5  Develop & register protocol  

WRITE

 

 &

 

REPORT

6  Develop & test search strategies  
7  Search and retrieve relevant citations
8  Pilot test screening & screen title and abstracts

S

C

R

E

E

N

R

E

T

R

I

E

V

A

L

9  Retrieve full text articles
10  Pilot test screening & screen full text articles
11  Snowball and search for grey literature  
12  Pilot test data extraction forms & Extract data

S

Y

N

T

H

E

S

I

S

13  Quality assessment
14  Synthesize data
15  Update searches
16  Meta-analyze
17  Write up review  
18  Publish review