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Systematic Review Service @ ECU: Home


About this guide

This guide is intended to provide students, staff, and faculty researchers with an overview of the Systematic Review Service provided by Laupus Library, along with how Systematic Reviews differ from other review types, and the processes involved in Systematic Reviews.

If you have never conducted a systematic review, we recommend that you first browse the guide to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of systematic reviews. If you would like to request assistance with a systematic review, please use our request system and review the Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the roles and responsibilities of both the Librarian and the Requestor during the Systematic Review Process. If you have any questions regarding the process or service, please contact Jamie Bloss or use the Ask A Librarian by Email form.

Memorandum of Understanding

Key Components of a Systematic Review

What is a Systematic Review, anyway?

A Systematic Review is 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" (Cochrane Collaboration). Systematic reviews, when conducted appropriately, can help ensure informed decision-making for patient care, healthcare systems operations, and health policy.

There are many elements to systematic reviews, but some of the key components of a properly conducted systematic review include:

•A carefully thought out, defined question
•An investigative team
•A study protocol
•A systematic search strategy across multiple databases and using multiple search methods
•Clear, replicable reporting of how the search was structured and quality assessments applied
Many of these key components are required in national and international standards for the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews.

Laupus Library's Systematic Reviews Service

Support provided by Laupus Library's Systematic Review Service in the Systematic Review process:

  • Determine the scope of the topic and identify any previous systematic reviews published on the topic
  • Develop an appropriate search strategy for the research question by collaborating with investigator(s) to ensure all relevant studies are identified, including:
    • Translating the search concepts into controlled vocabulary and keywords in order to create a precise but comprehensive search strategy;
    • Recommending the specific databases, grey literature, and other information sources appropriate for your topic; and
    • Conducting the literature searches in the identified databases and other sites
  • Share any and all information gained from the literature search
  • Maintain documentation of the search strategy and results in each of the databases
  • Write the literature search methodology section
  • Train researchers to use systematic review management software, if desired. Laupus Library provides access to Covidence for systematic review teams using our Systematic Review Service. We also provide support for Rayyan
  • Assist with other aspects of the writing process, as requested

**Developing and conducting database-specific searches is a lengthy process which may take one to two months or more. Please involve the librarian in the early stages of planning your review**‚Äč

Laupus Library will also provide support for other review types. Requests for assistance with other reviews may be directed to the Systematic Review Service, or sent directly to the Liaison Librarian assigned to your College or School.