This guide provides an overview of the processes involved in finding and managing information sources for use in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
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"Systematic reviews seek to collate evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question. They aim to minimize bias by using explicit, systematic methods documented in advance with a protocol." (chapter 1)
"Meta-analysis is the statistical combination of results from two or more separate studies." (chaptet 10)
Before You Begin
A systematic review is a major commitment. Be sure to read a good guidebook on systematic reviews before starting. It will also be helpful to read through existing systematic reviews and systematic reviews protocols. The following journals are from organizations who focus on improving the quality of the systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
"Campbell Systematic Reviews is an open access journal prepared under the editorial control of the Campbell Collaboration. The journal publishes systematic reviews, evidence and gap maps, and methods research papers." Subject areas include "business and management, crime and justice, disability, education, international development, knowledge translation and implementation, methods, nutrition, social welfare."
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"The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is the leading journal and database for systematic reviews in health care. CDSR includes Cochrane Reviews (systematic reviews) and protocols for Cochrane Reviews as well as editorials and supplements."
"... the journal of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE). The Journal facilitates rapid publication of evidence syntheses, in the form of Systematic Reviews and Maps conducted to CEE Guidelines and Standards. We focus on the effectiveness of environmental management interventions and the impact of human activities on the environment. Our scope covers all forms of environmental management and human impacts and therefore spans the natural and social sciences. Subjects include water security, agriculture, food security, forestry, fisheries, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, climate change, ecosystem services, pollution, invasive species, environment and human wellbeing, sustainable energy use, soil management, environmental legislation, environmental education."
"Systematic Reviews encompasses all aspects of the design, conduct and reporting of systematic reviews. The journal publishes high quality systematic review products including systematic review protocols, systematic reviews related to a very broad definition of health, rapid reviews, updates of already completed systematic reviews, and methods research related to the science of systematic reviews, such as decision modelling."