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Overview - Systematic Review Process
Before You Begin:
- Consider the time required: It typically takes 6-18 months to complete a systematic review since search results typically yield several thousand citations. Please consider another type of search if you are unable to spend 6-18 months reviewing citations. More info
- Assemble your team: Principal investigator MUST be a full-time Main Campus or FHC caregiver due to high volume of requests. This person will serve as principal investigator and primary contact with librarians. You will need a minimum of 2-3 members for the review stage to minimize bias. For additional team members, we suggest including subject experts, librarians for help with search strategies, and statisticians for help with data analysis.
- Perform an initial literature search: Make sure no one else has already published systematic review on the topic, and try to find some articles that will be used in your review.
Summary of the Process
- Develop a clearly defined research question using PICO or similar tools More info
- Determine inclusion/exclusion criteria, such as: types of studies, minimum number of participants, ages, gender, language, or date restrictions
- Write and register protocol to document methodology More info
- Develop a search strategy, test, then run in multiple databases. Search for additional articles in grey literature, registries, hand searching journals, and checking references in articles
- Screen title/abstracts. First pass to select articles matching protocol criteria
- Obtain/read full text of articles that passed screening to determine eligibility. Document reasons why articles are included/excluded
- Analyze articles for data, quality, and bias
- Write review and submit for publication
How can the Library help?
- Conduct literature searches
- Document the search process
- Upload results into EndNote or Covidence
- Write search methodology section of paper
Request a Systematic Review
Complete our systematic review preparation form (Please use Google Chrome browser to access this form.) After we receive your form, we will contact you to schedule a consultation.
Acknowledgement / Authorship
- At minimum, an acknowledgement of the librarian's contribution to the systematic review is requested
- Co-authorship is requested if librarians write/edit parts of the paper
Systematic Review Service Policies
- Systematic review requests must be submitted using our request form. Once this has been submitted, a librarian will contact you to schedule a consultation and begin the process.
- Primary Investigator must be a full-time, Main Campus/FHC caregiver. This person will serve as the primary contact with the library.
- Each librarian will only perform one systematic review per patron at a time. Due to the time commitments involved with systematic reviews, library staff are unable to provide these services for students, part-time employees or other temporary project personnel. Library staff continues to provide standard literature search services for students, part-time employees, and temporary project personnel.
- While we do try to work as quickly as possible, we receive a large volume of systematic review requests. Please be aware that there may be a weeks-long delay in processing your request. After you have submitted your request form, we will contact you to discuss timelines.