This guide is intended for students, research assistants and faculty who are planning to undertake a systematic review, or who are interested in applying systematic research methods to a current project.
Once you have developed your research question, you'll need to determine your inclusion/exclusion criteria - these are the characteristics which make a study eligible or ineligible to be included in your review. Here is an example of some of the common inclusion/exclusion criteria used in systematic reviews, which include:
Date of publication
Exposure to intervention/ or specific health condition
Type of study design
Language of publication
In many cases, you can use the limits or advanced search features in many of the Library's databases to apply your inclusion/exclusion criteria , e.g., limiting your results by year of publication, language, etc.
It is recommended that a review protocol also be prepared, which is essentially a planning document that indicates how your review will be carried out. Here is a sample protocol template from the Evidence Synthesis Coordinator at the Maritimes SPOR SUPPORT Unit - this basic form includes all the relevant information needed for a simple protocol.