These descriptions are taken from the Glossary of Cochrane Collaboration, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health.

Critical appraisal

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


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

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.