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A collection of resources for faculty and undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

Systematic Reviews: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

This page is in redevelopment. Information on this page and related sub-pages is incomplete and under revision.

Please contact the subject librarian for assistance.

What's involved in reviewing the literature?

  1. Make a plan! You need to know what you're looking for in order to be able to find it. Consulting with other researchers and subject-area experts, and involving the subject librarian in the search-development process, will help you on your way.
  2. Search the literature. The subject librarian is available to help you craft your search strategy and figure out which databases to include.

This guide assumes you have developed a question around an area of inquiry, and focusses on how to search the literature.

  1. Screen, synthesize, and describe. There are many reporting frameworks to help you navigate your writing process, which spans everything from identifying your chosen references from your search results to the type of language you use when writing up.

A common framework to report on how a systematic review was conducted is PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses).

What type of review is best for you?

Literature reviews (also referred to as narrative reviews), systematic reviews, and scoping reviews are common methods of examining and discussing the literature in a specific area of health sciences.

Take a look at these two papers to help guide your choice:

A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies (Grant, 2009)

A description and strengths / weaknesses assessment of fourteen review types and their associated methodologies. Illustrative examples from health and health information domains included.

What Synthesis Methodology Should I Use? A Review and Analysis of Approaches to Research Synthesis (Schick Makaroff, 2016)

A comprehensive overview and assessment of the main approaches to research synthesis. Four broad categories are compared and assessed based on strengths, weaknesses, and appropriateness for use in different situations.

Managing references

Reference managers help you collect and organize citations to your research materials, generate bibliographies, and manage your in-text citations.

Some of the common reference managers are:

TWU students are encouraged to use EndNote for their coursework. For detailed support on EndNote Web for Mac and Windows, consult this guide.

For guidance on conducting screening via EndNote, watch this video.