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Systematic and Systematic-like Reviews

Checking for an existing systematic review

Before you start your review, it's a good idea to make sure that a review doesn't already exist on your topic, or that a protocol hasn't already been registered. You might find that your subject has been covered, but needs updating. An exisiting review or protocol can also help you identify:

  • What your you need to cover in your review or protocol
  • Help you identify search terms you can use in your review. Systematic reviews and protocols should have documented the search terms they use.

Here are some places to check:

   Healthcare Research

  • Cochrane Library - includes Cochrane reviews and protocols
  • JBI EBP Database - has limiters for Publication Type > Systematic Reviews and Systematic Review Protocols
  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text (nursing and allied health) - has a limiter to Publication Type > Systematic Review
  • OTseeker (occupational therapy) - has a limiter for Method > Systematic Review 
  • PEDro (physiotherapy) - has a limiter for Method > systematic review 
  • speechBITE (speech pathology) - has a limiter for Research Design > Systematic Review
  • PDQ Evidence (health systems and population health)
  • MEDLINE and PubMed - MEDLINE has various limiters around systematic reviews; PubMed has a limiter for Article Type > Systematic Review
  • Trip - a clinical search engine from the UK which includes many systematic reviews.

   Other disciplines

  • VetSRev - free online database of systematic reviews in veterinary medicine and science (University of Nottingham)
  • Campbell Collaboration - includes a database of systematic reviews related to education, criminal justice and social welfare
  • EPPI Centre systematic reviews - on subjects such as education, health promotion, public health, social welfare, and international development.
  • PsycINFO (psychology) has limiter for Methodology > Systematic Review (as an additional limiter after a search has been run).

Appraise existing reviews

If you have found an existing systematic review you should appraise it.

CASP or Critical Appraisal Skills Programme 

You can find information on:

Systematic Reviewlution is a website that compile evidence of Systematic Reviews that are not done well. 

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