A systematic review of scientific literature consists of three parts:
(a) methodically collecting all relevant studies pertaining to the research question being reviewed;
(b) critically evaluating all collected studies, data, and results; and
(c) summarizing, qualitatively, the overarching trends and significant findings of the aggregate data.
Further quantitative meta-analysis of the underlying studies' data often accompanies high-quality systematic reviews. These studies, if conducted on rigorous randomized control trials, are considered one of the highest quality of evidence in biomedical and health sciences. (See right for an illustrated pyramid of evidence levels from Wikimedia Commons.)
This toolbox incorporates the best resources, guides, and materials from research universities around the globe to assist researchers through each stage of the review process. These steps include: understanding the key components of the systematic review manuscript; adhering to established guidelines and rubrics; utilizing reference management software; searching varied research databases and indices; extracting relevant data; appraising study and data quality; performing qualitative and quantitative analyses; and crafting the final report.
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