Types of Reviews

Six Common Types of Reviews

Narrative Review

  • AKA Literature Reviews
  • Looks at literature across a specific topic
  • Synthesizes what you have learned
  • Can involve one specific database, or across multiple databases
  • Don't need to be a subject expert, but should have a pretty good concept of the topic once completed

Scoping Review

  • Knowledge synthesis that follows a systematic approach
  • Maps evidence on a topic
  • Identifies main concepts, theories, sources, and knowledge gaps

Systematic Review

  • Uses explicit methods to collect all evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria
  • Answers a specific research question
  • Methodology aims to reduce bias
  • Meta-analysis may be used to combine the data from appropriate systematic reviews

Rapid Review

  • Knowledge synthesis that accelerates the process of conducting a traditional systematic review
  • Streamlines or omits specific steps to produce evidence for stakeholders in a resource-efficient manner

Umbrella Review

  • Review of reviews
  • Synthesizes evidence from other published systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses on a broad topic

Clinical Practice Guidelines

  • Includes recommendations intended to optimize patient care
  • Often informed by multiple systematic reviews aimed at each point made in a CPG
  • Assesses the benefits and harms of alternative care options

Does your research request not fit into these categories?

Lane Medical Librarians are still able to help! We can also help with book chapters, theses, background literature reviews, etc. Submit a request through our Literature Search Service to get started.

A complete list of references for this infographic series is available.