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Systematic reviews, scoping reviews and other evidence syntheses

Overview of evidence synthesis reviews and relevant strategies, tools and resources.

What is evidence synthesis?

Evidence synthesis:

  • also called knowledge synthesis
  • uses reproducible and transparent methods to synthesize and analyze data from a large set of primary studies
  • synthesized evidence is considered:
    • less biased
    • more rigorous
    • more generalizable


Why do we need synthesized evidence?

Steps in evidence synthesis

Evidence synthesis generally involves these steps: undefined

  • Stating the objectives of the research
  • Defining eligibility criteria for studies to be included and excluded
  • Identifying (all) potentially eligible studies
  • Screening for inclusion and exclusion
  • Extracting data from the final set of screened studies
  • Appraising the final set of studies
  • Applying statistical analysis, if applicable
  • Preparing a structured report of the research

Reference: CIHR. (n.d.) A knowledge synthesis chapter: Stages of knowledge synthesis

Image: Ayala, P. (2020). Screening for studies in systematic reviews, scoping reviews, and other knowledge syntheses: Strategies for improvement. KSIG webinar, April 2020.


Brock Library workshop materials

Types of evidence synthesis reviews



Centre for Research Evaluation, London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. (n.d.) Evidence synthesis: synthesis methods.