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Review Types: Which one meets your information needs?

In the 2009 article, A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies, authors Grant & Booth present a table of format types and methods. 

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91-108. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x

Developing a search strategy

Types of Searches

A Systematic Review includes these types of searching:

  1. Preliminary: Identify existing reviews on the topic, assess the volume of potentially relevant reviews and locate a minimum of two-four articles to use as exemplar articles.
  2. Exhaustive searches: Used to identify as many publications as possible which meet the study requirements
  3. Hand searching: Find the grey literature: conference proceedings, poster abstracts, un-indexed conference presentations. 
  4. Cited reference searching: Review the references cited by included and highly-relevant articles
  5. Finding unpublished and about-to-be published articles:Contact organizations, listservs and even the authors

Preliminary Searches

Exhaustive searches

Grey Literature Searching

Subject-specific professional association websites and the bibliographies of all included studies. 

Scoping Reviews

Systematic Review Books

Public health systematic review guidance


SR protocol development and registry

Registering an a protocol reduces the likelihood that there is more than one  systematic review on a topic. They function to reduce duplication and promote transparency.A registered review protocol provides the rationale for the review and describes a pre-planned, methodological and analytic approach prior to embarking on a review. 

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Data collection instrument and procedure

Critical Appraisal: Is the evidence good enough?

Resources for locating systematic reviews

Journals that publish Systematic Reviews

Cool tools

Database Tutorials

Meta Analysis

MetaAnalysis as a Topic:

1. A type of research

2. A quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc., with application chiefly in the areas of research and medicine.

MESH database, National Library of Medicine

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