Introduction to Systematic Reviews

Is there already a systematic review on your topic?

Have a topic in mind? Before deciding on a research question for a systematic review, it is best to see if there is a systematic review on that topic already. You can broadly search across the databases and registries below for current and past systematic reviews.

Registering A Protocol

It is important to register your research protocol in a publicly accessible way. This will help you avoid other researchers completing a review on your topic. Similarly, before you begin a systematic review, it's worth checking different registries and systematic review databases to determine what projects are already completed or is currently underway on the same topic. The following lists some resources to register and prepare a protocol.

Systematic Review Guidelines

Reporting Standards

The EQUATOR Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines. The EQUATOR Library rovides an up-to-date collection of guidelines and policy documents related to health research reporting. These are aimed mainly at authors of research articles, journal editors, peer reviewers and reporting guideline developers. There are over 400 guidelines in the library's collection.

Reporting guidelines for common study types:

  • PRISMA (systematic reviews)
  • CONSORT (randomized control trials)
  • MOOSE (observational studies)
  • SQUIRE (quality improvement studies)