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Systematic Reviews and Evidence Syntheses: Resources for Completing Evidence Syntheses

A guide to the methodology of and resources for Systematic Reviews

Resources and Tools

Below are a few selected tools to help you throughout your project that you have access to either through Northeastern or for free. For a more comprehensive list of tools (both free and paid) available to help with systematic and other advanced reviews, take a look at the Systematic Review Toolbox. Use the links below to navigate to boxes, or scroll down to browse.

Tools for the beginning of your project

Tools to help manage the independent screening of your records

Tools for citation management and writing

Standards to guide your project

If you have any questions, or would like personalized recommendations for your project, please email a librarian or schedule an appointment using the profile boxes on the right-hand side of this page.

At the beginning of your project

Before you begin your project, consider writing a review protocol with your team. Your protocol can describe the planning for the project, including a timeline, anticipated author contributions, and much more. You can find a template for systematic review protocols attached at the bottom of this box.

When creating a systematic review protocol, it can be useful to review PRISMA-P, the reporting standard for systematic review protocols.

To find protocols:

PROSPERO: PROSPERO is an international database of prospectively registered systematic reviews in health and social care, welfare, public health, education, crime, justice, and international development, where there is a health related outcome.

OSF Registries is a scholarly repository where you can find and deposit protocols for a wider range of advanced reviews and research projects. Deposits are not limited to systematic reviews, nor to reviews with health related outcomes.

For independent screening of records

Rayyan: A free tool to help authors through the independent screening process of advanced reviews, such as systematic reviews. Integrates with EndNote, as well as other citation management tools. You can find our series of tutorials on using Rayyan here.

For citation management and writing

EndNote is a great tool for managing your citations prior to the independent screening stage, de-duplicating records, and writing your paper. For more information about using EndNote, see here.

For more information about using EndNote for systematic reviews, please email Alissa Link (a.link@northeastern.edu).

Standards to guide your project

There are a number of different standards that you can choose to follow. Which standard is best for your project is dependent on your discipline and the project you are completing. For more information on which is the best fit for your project, ask a librarian or schedule an appointment with one of the librarians on the right hand side of this page. 

Standards for Systematic Reviews:

PRISMA Statement: Primarily used in the Health Sciences

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions: Primarily used in the Health Sciences and considered the 'Gold Standard' of systematic reviews

Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR): Primarily used in the Health Sciences and used in conjunction with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.

Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewer's Manual: Primarily used in the Health Sciences

Campbell Collaboration: Primarily used in the social sciences, Campbell Collaboration author guidelines are available under the Policies and Guidelines section of their Journal page. Campbell also has a page explaining what a systematic review is as well as additional information on Evidence and Gap Maps.

Collaboration for Environmental Evidence: Guidelines and Standards for Evidence Synthesis in Environmental Management

Standards for Scoping Reviews:

PRISMA Scoping Review Extension: Primarily used in the health sciences 

Ask A Librarian

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Alissa Link Cilfone
she/her/hers
Contact:
a.link@northeastern.edu
617-373-2458

Ask a Librarian

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Philip Espinola Coombs
He / him / his
Contact:
p.coombs@northeastern.edu