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Systematic Reviews: Systematic Review process

Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

Steps in the Systematic Review Process

Step 1: Performing scoping searches, identifying the review question and writing your protocol

Step 2: Literature Searching

Step 3: Screening titles and abstracts

Step 4: Obtaining papers

Step 5: Selecting full-text papers

Step 6: Quality assessment

Step 7: Data extraction

Step 8: Analysis & synthesis

Step 9: Writing up and editing

Dickson, R., Cherry, M.G., & Boland, A. (2017). Carrying out a systematic review as a Master's thesis. In A. Boland, M.G. Cherry & R. Dickson. (Eds.), Doing a systematic review: A student's guide (2nd ed., pp.1-16). Sage.

Tips for doing a systematic review

Here are a couple of good resources to help you in your systematic review searching:

Choi, A.R., Cheng, D.L., & Greenberg, P.B. (2019). Twelve tips for medical students to conduct a systematic review. Medical Teacher, 41(4). 471-475. 

Conducting a systematic literature search from the Students4Best Evidence blog.

Registering a protocol

Your protocol for your systematic should outline the study methodology including; background, summary of existing literature, research question and aims, Methods with search strategy, screening & selecting, quality assessment, data extraction, data analysis and time frame.

After you write your protocol you should register it with PROSPERO the International prospective register of systematic reviews.Registration on PROSPERO is free of charge. Find more information and register your systematic review at 

Other Systematic Review/Protocol Registries

  • Campbell Collaboration - produces systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions
  • Cochrane Collaboration - international organisation, produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions

Tools for reporting SRs