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Systematic Reviews: Home

How to do a systematic review. How to find systematic reviews.

What is a Systematic Review?

A systematic review is a high-level overview of primary research on a particular research question that tries to identify, select, synthesize and appraise all high quality research evidence relevant to that question in order to answer it.¹

Systematic review is an approach used in health, education and social policy (as part of evidence based policy or practice). It's much more than a 'literature review' - it follows a strict methodology which means it's 'transparent, rigorous and replicable.'

Five steps to a Systematic Review

1. Formulate your question.
2. Search for studies.
3. Assess the quality of studies.
4. Summarise the evidence.
5. Interpret the findings.

This quick guide will cover steps 1-2 in detail and signpost resources that will help you with steps 3-5.

Major organisations in this area are the Cochrane Collaboration (health) and the Campbell Collaboration (education, social policy).

Further reading - Journal articles