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What Are Systematic Reviews?

Systematic Review

A systematic review answers a defined research question by collecting and summarizing all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria.

  • Systematic review = study of studies
  • Systematic reviews collect and summarize the literature surrounding a topic
  • Systematic reviews evaluate individual studies and analyze the findings
  • Systematic reviews are useful for learning about general topics and relevant research

How Are Systematic Reviews Conducted?

A great way to approach the development of systematic reviews (and meta-analyses) is to break them down into smaller and more simple executable tasks. "A 24-Step Guide on How to Design, Conduct, and Successfully Publish a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Medical Research" is a helpful paper that provides authors with concrete steps to follow when starting the systematic review and/or meta-analysis process. These steps can be placed into the following general categories:

Define and design

Search and collect

Extract, evaluate, and consult “experts in the field” of interest

“Summarize and explain findings”

Check publication bias and evidence quality

Submit for publication


Muka, T., Glisic, M., Milic, J. et al. A 24-step guide on how to design, conduct, and successfully publish a systematic review and meta-analysis in medical research. Eur J Epidemiol35, 49–60 (2020).

wiki/guide/overview.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/07 00:25 by jthurnham