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Systematic Reviews

Steps to the systematic review: step three is evaluating

In evaluating your search results, you winnow down the thousands of citations you initially identified to dozens which you will examine more closely.  Often some of these steps are done concurrently.  For example, after 500 citations have been evaluated for relevancy, the studies chosen for inclusion can be evaluated for quality and bias while the next 500 citations are evaluated for relevancy.

The citations from the searches are de-duplicated These are combined into a master list with the resulting number of citations documented

Each article is evaluated for relevancy      At least two reviewers determine whether an article meets the eligibility criteria for inclusion as set up in the protocol     Often inclusion/exclusion can be based on title and abstract but sometimes full-text is required for this determination     Tools are available that can help track the status of each article and those that have AI features can speed up this process

Full-text of the included articles is obtained.  For those citations which inclusion cannot be determined by title and abstract alone For all citations to be included in the synthesis

A master list of studies is compiled      Some studies may be written up in more than one article     Some articles may include more than one study

Each study is evaluated for quality and bias (critical appraisal)      At least two reviewers determine the quality of each study     A valid quality assessment tool or checklist appropriate for the type of study should be used

A list of studies to be included in the synthesis is compiled      If any studies are deemed to be of lower quality, documentation of their inclusion or exclusion is necessary

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