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Systematic Reviews

Getting Started

  • Define your topic. 
    Have you fully defined your question?  Have you identified some key terms and synonyms?  Have you considered using PICO to structure your search?
  • Double check your topic in systematic review tracking sources.
    • To find published systematic reviews, search PubMed and add systematic[sb] after your search terms.  If you find one exactly on your topic, is it recent or ready for an update?
    • Check the systematic review protocol registration site. PROSPERO, to find any planned systematic reviews on your topic.
  • Form your team. 
    You will need at least 3 people to conduct a systematic review, with the requisite expertise.  Possible team roles include:
    • Project manager
    • Content expert
    • Statistical expert
    • Search expert
  • Devise your timeline.  
    Cochrane advises at least 12 months from conception to submission, and current literature suggests 15-16 months is the average timeline.  
  • Choose the tools you will use.
    Possible tools include citation mangers (e.g., EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero) and systematic review tools (e.g., Covidence, Rayyan).  Details on these are in the Technology section.
  • Learn more.
    The PRISMA Checklist outlines the various steps in the process and may be helpful to your planning.  Find more information at our online guide on systematic reviews.

Ready to contact the Tulane University Libraries Systematic Review Service group?  Use our online form to get started. 

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