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How to Find and Conduct Systematic Reviews

Step-by-step instructions on how to find and conduct systematic reviews, intended for students in the health sciences.


1. Congratulate yourself on making it this far!

2. Find any other types of sources you are interested in that may not have been included in the databases (e.g., books, conference proceedings, government documents, etc.). See the box at the right, "Resources for Finding Other Types of Sources," or contact your librarian for help with this step.

3. Document everything! Make sure you have kept detailed notes of your search process, everything from the keywords and subjects you used to the databases you searched to the number of articles you retrieved in each step. Systematic reviews require you to explain your search process as fully as possible, so be certain you have all the information needed before concluding your searches.

4. Read and evaluate the sources you found.

5. Subsequent steps will depend on the purpose of your systematic review and your reason for doing it. For example, the expectations for a systematic review submitted as an assignment in a one-semester course will be very different from the expectations for a systematic review intended for publication. Contact your professor or advisor for more information on what you should do next.

If you have any additional questions, contact your librarian. Happy searching!


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