A systematic review identifies and analyses all available evidence-based literature on a specified research question. Methodology follows a structured research process, is transparent and reproducible and attempts to minimize possible bias. Key results and conclusions provide comprehensive evidence-based findings to inform those making practice and policy decisions.
Some systematic reviews involve a meta-analysis which uses statistical methods to combine numerical data from the separate research studies to reach a new statistical conclusion. This provides stronger statistical evidence than that found in an individual study.
It takes 12-18 months to complete a systematic review. Before undertaking a systematic review, consider if this review type balances your need to find sufficient studies and/or concepts with the time and resources at your disposal.
See the PredicTER tool to help you estimate how long a systematic review would take to complete.
A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies also provides a summary and comparison of common review types.
Please note that the Library is not responsible for approving your search strategy. This will require your subject expertise and you will need to review this with your supervisor/CI and research team.