from: Undertaking systematic reviews of research on effectiveness: CRD's guidance for those carrying out or commissioning reviews. CRD Report 4 (2nd edition). March 2001. http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/report4.htm
A systematic review is a summary of research that uses explicit methods to perform a thorough literature search and critical appraisal of individual studies to identify the valid and applicable evidence. An example which also explains what systematic reviews are, alternative terminology and desirable characteristics is:
Rose, H., Briggs, J. G., Boggs, J., Sergio, L., & Ivanova-Slavianskaia, N. (2017). A systematic review of language learner strategy research in the face of self-regulation. System, 72, 151–163.
A systematic review should include the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (http://www.prisma-statement.org/PRISMAStatement/PRISMAStatement)
A systematic review is a research method, just as interviews or surveys are research methods. The key difference is whether you are collecting and analysing your own primary data, or performing a review of already published research and grey literature.
IDESR - the International Database of Education Systematic Reviews aims to become the go to web resource for locating previous reviews and registering protocols for upcoming reviews. In the first phase of development IDESR is currently focusing on language education.
The Campbell Collaboration shares the commitment of The Cochrane Collaboration (healthcare) to high standards for the conduct of systematic reviews. You can search for examples in the field of education in their free online library.
The PRESS project devised a checklist you can use to review your search strategy:
McGowan J, Sampson M, Salzwedel DM, Cogo E, Foerster V, Lefebvre C. PRESS Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies: 2015 Guideline Statement. J Clin Epidemiol 2016;75:40-6.
Take a look at the Cambell Collaboration's library of systematic reviews in the social sciences: https://www.campbellcollaboration.org/library.html
Recent reviews by members of the Department of Education include:
Nag, S., Vagh, S., Dulay, K., & Snowling, M. (2019). Home Language, School Language and Children's Literacy Attainments: A Systematic Review of Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Review of Education (Oxford), 7(1), 91-150. which builds on initial report:
Nag, S., Chiat, S., Torgerson, C. & Snowling, M.J. (2014). Literacy, foundation learning and assessment in developing countries: final report. Education Rigorous Literature Review. Department for International Development.
Hopfenbeck. T., Lenkeit, J., El Masri, Y., Cantrell, K., Ryan, J., & Baird, J.-A. (2018). Lessons learned from PISA: A systematic review of peer-reviewed articles on the Programme for International Student Assessment. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 62(3), 333-353.
Macaro, E., Curle, S., Pun, J., An. J., & Dearden, J. (2018). A systematic review of English medium instruction in higher education. Language Teaching, 51(1), 36-76.
Freeman, J. & Brandi, S. (2015) Examining the impact of policy and practice interventions on high shool dropout and school completion rates: A systematic review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 85(2), 205-248
Please contact us if you would like any help with your research. We offer help with:
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It is common practice to use Excel and Reference Management Software to manage systematic reviews.
The EPPI-Centre have created specific software for systematic reviewing which individuals can subscribe to (the cost is not prohibitive).
There is also free alternative: Rayyan http://rayyan.qcri.org/
Covidence is an alternative online software you can pay for: Covidence