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What is a systematic review?

For more information on systematic reviews, scoping reviews and other forms of evidence synthesis, please review this Library guide.


Systematic reviews:

  • Undertake a systematic, structured review of all empirical evidence on a specific research question
  • Use explicit, pre-defined criteria to include and exclude studies
  • Incorporate search strategies which are systematic, free of bias and reproducible
  • are not “review articles”



Why do a systematic review?

Systematic reviews are used to:

  • resolve conflicting evidence
  • confirm appropriateness of current practice, programs, policies
  • highlight need for future research

General guidance for systematic reviews

Brock University Library resources

  • Foster, M. J., & Jewell, S. T. (2017). Assembling the pieces of a systematic review : a guide for librarians. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Petticrew, M., & Roberts, H. (2006). Systematic reviews in the social sciences : a practical guide. Blackwell Pub
  • Tod, D. (2019). Conducting systematic reviews in sport, exercise, and physical activity. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Gough, D., Oliver, S., & Thomas, J. (2017). An introduction to systematic reviews. SAGE.
  • Holly, C., Salmond, S. W., & Saimbert, M. K. (2012). Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice.