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Systematic Reviews

A guide for researchers beginning a medical systematic review or meta-analysis.

Team members involved

Content experts on the systematic review team should work with the Librarian to determine if similar, recent systematic reviews exist.  Content experts may use these recent studies to determine if the research question in Step 1 has been adequately addressed, or whether a different, specific research question needs to be investigated.

Has someone already published a review?

These sources are useful for determining whether a recent systematic review has already been performed on your topic.  Considering checking these sites first to decide whether a new review is needed.

Discuss Previous Systematic Reviews in Your Study

Even if there is already a systematic review or meta-analysis on your topic, you may wish to proceed if it is older, if a significant number of new results are availble, if it uses different inclusion/exclusion principles or primary outcomes, or if a significant change has occurred in your field.  If you do, it is a good idea to not only cite, but discuss these previous publications in your own article.