Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) offers guidance on thorough reporting for systematic reviews. The 2020 PRISMA Checklist and Flow Diagram provide minimum requirements for ensuring a transparent review. Guidance for writing systematic review protocols and extensions to ensure complete reporting for abstracts, scoping reviews, searching, and more are also available.
PROSPERO is a platform to register protocols for systematic reviews, rapid reviews, and umbrella reviews. Submitting your protocol is best practice to ensure methodological transparency and to prevent the duplication of systematic reviews. Protocols must be submitted before data extraction begins.
Kable AK, Pich J, Maslin-Prothero SE. A structured approach to documenting a search strategy for publication: A 12 step guideline for authors. Nurse Educ Today. 2012 Nov; 32(8):878-886. DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.02.022.
Considering a Systematic Review?
Well-done systematic reviews are important contributions to the literature, and they have the potential to influence clinical practice and health policy. However, systematic reviews are long-term, often intense research projects. Cornell University Library provides a helpful decision tree and overview of the different types of review articles, their methodological requirements, and their contributions to the literature.
If you decide a systematic review is right for you, see this page for resources on systematic review methodology and librarian contact information.
The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions provides complete guidance on the steps to conducting a systematic review. Core methods, such as scope determination, searching, study selection, data collection, navigating bias, and meta-analysis, are covered, as well as addressing topics from specific perspectives, such as equity, adverse effects, and economic evidence.
Advice from Oxford University's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine on handling data for meta-analyses. Diagnostic accuracy outcomes, dichotomous outcomes, continuous outcomes, and general issues are covered.
Welch VA, Petticrew M, O'Neill J, Waters E, Armstrong R, Bhutta ZA, Francis D, Koehlmoos TP, Kristjansson E, Pantoja T, Tugwell P. Health equity: Evidence synthesis and knowledge translation methods. Syst Rev. 2013; 2:43.
Sena ES, Currie GL, McCann SK, Macleod MR, Howells DW. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis of preclinical studies: Why perform them and how to appraise them critically. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2014; 34:737-742. DOI: 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.28.
Systematic Review Support
Kornhauser Library's clinical librarians are available to provide support in planning and searching for systematic, scoping, and narrative review projects. If you are interested in this service, please fill out our advanced literature review request form. If you have a librarian embedded in your department or whom you have worked with previously, you may also contact them directly.