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What is a Systematic Review?
A systematic review is a form of literature review which answers a question based on the currently available research after a thorough search for relevant papers on the subject. It follows a specific, transparent methodology and can be replicated by other researchers.
It differs from a "traditional" literature review in its attempt to reduce author bias - rather than presenting author selected studies following a literature search, the systematic review aims to collect all studies that meet the pre-defined eligibility criteria and discuss the findings of all the identified studies.
You can read more about Systematic Reviews, and other types of literature reviews, on PhD on Track.
Sage Research Methods also has lots of information on conducting systematic reviews - from articles and books to case studies from researchers and tools to help you plan your research.
If you are an undergraduate or MSc student doing your dissertation, or a solo PGR exploring the existing research as a precursor to your own research, then you are probably producing a literature review informed by systematic methodology. The systematic review process guidance on these pages can help you with this.
Your Subject Librarian will be able to give advice on the following aspects of your Systematic Review:
For subject-specific support please contact your Subject Librarian.
Campbell Collaboration - social science systematic reviews
PROSPERO - protocol register useful for searching for other reviews currently ongoing and to register your protocol
PRISMA Statement - reporting guidelines for a systematic review including a reporting checklist and a flow diagram for recording your search strategy
University of Bristol library subject guides - guides related to your subject area