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Systematic Reviews

A guide for researchers beginning a systematic review or meta-analysis.

What are Systematic Reviews?

The Family of Reviews

Systematic Reviews, along with Meta-Analysis of them, are the highest form of evidence. From them, guidelines and policies are created. Review types match information needs, such as the research question, amount of evidence, and the time and other support that you have to produce the review..  This tool and the article referenced here may provide more appropriate types of publishable literature reviews.  In any case, Tulane librarians will be glad to assist you in developing and refining your search strategies.

The Concept of a Systematic Review


What Authors do in Systematic Reviews


Designed by Jessica Kaufman, Cochrane Consumers & Communication Review Group, Centre for Health Communication & Participation, La Trobe University, 2011. CC-BY-SA License

The Systematic Review Team

Conducting a systematic review is a multi-step and planned process.  This is part of the 'systematic' nature of this type of publication.  Each step in the process involves careful planning, documentation and diverse skills and knowledge. Therefore, a team of professionals work together.

The systematic review team typically consists of the following members (at minimum):

  • A content expert
  • 2 reviewers
  • 1 tie breaker
  • 1 librarian trained in systematic reviews
  • 1 member trained in data synthesis or a statistician (meta-analysis)

At each step of the process, multiple team members may have a role, though some may play a more prominent role at certain portions of the review.  For example, the librarian will work with the team in Step 1, 4, 5 and 6 to assist with developing the research question and conducting the literature review in three databases. All team members should typically be co-authors and review the final manuscript before submission.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.