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Research Guides

Systematic Reviews Service

Introduction to systematic reviews

What is a systematic review?

A systematic review is a research method that is designed to answer a research question by identifying, coding, appraising and synthesizing a group of studies.  This method is utilized in many disciplines (medicine, public health, education, social sciences, and more) to answer a variety of questions (effectiveness of an intervention or policy, prevalence, tests/diagnosis, and more). 

Steps of a review (PIECES)

  • P: Planning-  the methods of the systematic review are generally decided before conducting it.  
  • I: Identifying- searching for studies which match the preset criteria in a systematic manner
  • E: Evaluating- sort all retrieved articles (included or  excluded) and assess the risk of bias for each included study
  • C: Collecting/combining: each study is coded with preset form, either qualitatively or quantitatively synthesize data.
  • E: Explaining:  placed results of synthesis into context, strengths and weaknesses of the studies 
  • S: Summarizing: report is provides description of methods and results in a clear and transparent manner

Reporting standards

Guides on animal reviews

Guides on Health-related reviews

Guides for Education and Social Science Reviews

Guides on Conservation and environment

Guidelines for conducting systematic review in conservation and environmental management