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Systematic Reviews

This guide lists resources related to conducting a Systematic Review.

Write your protocol

The protocol specifies the methods to be used in the review with the aim of minimizing bias and needs to be clearly stated. A well written protocol will include the following elements:

  • Inclusion/exclusion criteria

What types of studies will you include? What population do you want to include in your review (may include age, gender, nationality)?

  • Search strategy

What search terms will you use? Who will complete the search? On what date will the searches be run? What databases/sources will you use? 

  • Study selection criteria & process

How will studies be selected for inclusion? How many people will review the studies? What are their qualifications?

  • Data extraction

How will data be extracted from selected studies? Who is performing the data extraction? What tools are they using?

  • Assessment of study quality

How will the quality of included studies be assessed? What tools or criteria are being used?

  • Data synthesis methods

How will the results be synthesized? Will a meta-analysis be performed on the data?

  • Result dissemination plans

How will results be shared?

Consider registering your completed protocol in PROSPERO, an International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. PROSPERO is also a great place for you to find examples of existing protocols if you're not sure how to write your own.

Protocol Resources

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