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Systematic reviews

A brief overview of systematic reviews and resources to support producing one.

Searching databases for systematic reviews

Identify relevant literature - systematic reviews searching

Once the question has been developed the next step is to perform a comprehensive literature search.

A comprehensive literature search seeks to include all relevant literature from a variety of sources. This may include searching databases, grey literature sources and hand searching of relevant journals.

Where to search - databases

A systematic review requires searching of more than one database and the databases to be used should be determined at the start. Depending on the topic a great variety of databases could be used. Create a list of resources to be searched as part of your outline or protocol. To determine what databases are appropriate to your topic look at our subject guides for a subject guide in your area and consult the section on Journal articles for a list of databases and related resources. You can also consult with a librarian for advice on appropriate databases in your subject area.

Other methods to find an appropriate database to search include finding a published systematic review on a similar topic and consulting the methods section to see what resources have been used to find the literature for that topic.

Another method for finding databases is to go from a known article and finding where the journal is indexed. This can be done using Ulrichsweb.

Relevant resources: