University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Research Help

Systematic Reviews: Tools & Resources

TOOLS

There are specialized tools to help with each step of a systematic review.

General

SR Toolbox
Searchable web catalog of tools that support various tasks of the systematic review process.
AHRQ Effective Health Care Program Tools & Software
Training modules on review processes, data repositories, tools for screening and analyzing data.
Cochrane RevMan
Software to facilitate the writing and editing of protocols and full reviews, perform meta-analysis of data, and produce graphics.

Literature Search

CADTH Finding the Evidence: Literature Searching Tools in Support of Systematic Reviews
Search aids, strategies and checklists for comprehensive searches.
ISSG Search Filters Resource
Search filters by specific study design or focus.

CLINICAL TRIALS

Sources for locating clinical trials include:

CITATION MANAGEMENT

Citation management tools can help you keep your sources organized, can help you collaborate with others, can insert formatted citations into your paper, and format your reference list. UNE provides access to RefWorks , but other options like EndnoteZotero, or Mendeley may also be helpful or integrate with review tools or software.

Protocol

A systematic review protocol describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of the review and should be prepared before a review is started. Review protocols should be made publicly available in a registry or database such as:

Screening

These tools can help review teams efficiently screen the large number of abstracts necessary to perform an exhaustive search for relevant literature on your topic. Some may require registration or a subscription.

Appraisal

Johanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Tools
Checklists to assess the quality of research for many review types.
GRADE Working Group
Grading criteria for assessing of evidence in health care
Centre for Evidence Based Medicine Catalogue of Bias.
Comprehensive catalog of the different types of bias to be on the look for as you appraise research.

Analysis

Software for data extraction and statistical analysis.

Reporting

The most widely accepted standard for reporting systematic reviews is PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis).

Publishers may require other specific standards or guidelines. Check the literature for your discipline. Here are some examples of discipline-specific reporting guidelines:

the EQUATOR Network
Reporting guidelines for health research by discipline with a searchable database.
RePorting standards for Systematic Evidence Syntheses (ROSES)
Conservation and environmental research.
APA Style Journal Reporting Standards (JARS)
Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods reporting standards in the behavioral sciences.

RESOURCES

Detailed guides to the systematic review process and published standards.