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Systematic Reviews

Systematic Review Methodology Overview

1.    Put together a systematic review team.
     · Generally, a team needs to have at least three people to reduce bias. Two team members will review each search result, with the third team member acting as a tiebreaker.

2.   Develop a focused research question.

3.   Establish criteria for including and excluding studies.

4.   Develop and register your protocol.
     · Check to see if there is a systematic review published or in progress on your topic.
     · Prospero, Cochrane, and Campbell Collaboration are three sites that allow you to register your protocol.

5.    Conduct an exhaustive literature search – often done by a professional, or a librarian.
     · Librarians should be considered a member of the team and receive authorship for their contributions. Librarians will often write or contribute to the Methods section.

6.    Review the titles and abstracts of the search results.
     · The review of articles should be a “blind” review, done by at least two individuals to reduce bias.

7.    Select and evaluate the articles/studies that meet inclusion.

8.    Extract the data and gather the evidence.

9.    Come to conclusions.

10.  Review work & run searches a last time to make sure you have all recent publications.

11.  Make corrections or changes as needed.

 12. Submit work for publication.
     · The whole systematic review process on takes, on average, at least 12-18 months.

What review is right for you?

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