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Resources for Systematic Reviewers

Definitions (cited from the Glossary of Cochrane Collaboration)

Systematic Review: A review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review.

Critical Appraisal: The process of assessing and interpreting evidence by systematically considering its validity, results, and relevance. 

Meta-analysis: The use of statistical techniques in a systematic review to integrate the results of included studies. Sometimes misused as a synonym for systematic reviews, where the review includes a meta-analysis. 


Systematic review methodologies

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, Cochrane Collaboration. 

Undertaking systematic reviews of research on effectiveness : CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care. January 2009

Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewer's Manual 2008

SCIE systematic research reviews: guidelines  (2nd edition)

The Campbell Collaboration is an international research network that produces systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions. The steps in producing a Campbell systematic review guidance are located here


Reporting standards (guidance provided for systematic reviews and meta-analyses)

Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)

PRISMA for Abstracts: Reporting Systematic Reviews in Journal and Conference Abstracts 

Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) 

Meta-Analysis and Systematic Reviews of Observational Studies (MOOSE) 

A template of the MOOSE checklist is available as a word document:

MOOSE Checklist [16.0 Kb]