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Systematic reviews, scoping reviews and other evidence syntheses

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

Time and resources

Evidence synthesis reviews require a significant amount of time and resources


  • Expect a systematic review project to last from 6 months to 2 years (Khangura et al., 2012)
  • PredicTER, a decision-support tool, can help you estimate time requirements
  • This table provides average timelines for each element in a scoping or systematic review


  • Evidence synthesis projects require a team of researchers with expertise in:
    • the review topic
    • research methods
    • comprehensive literature searching
    • screening
    • data extraction
    • statistical analysis (for meta-analyses)


  • You will need:

Does this review already exist?

Evidence synthesis reviews should only be done if no existing review addresses your research question.

Check to ensure no protocols (statements of planned reviews) or published reviews on your topic already exist:


PROSPERO -- International prospective register of systematic reviews where there is a health-related outcome

The Campbell Library

Search tools and subject databases

  • Search keywords for your review topic and review type in Omni e.g. body image AND scoping review  
  • Search keywords for your topic in a subject database and use a publication type filter (e.g. systematic review, scoping review, etc)

Reference: Systematic Reviews by Lydia Thorne at University of Ontario Institute of Technology