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Systematic Reviews

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.

Assembling Your Research Team

A systematic review involves a number of people working together as a team, and typically includes the following roles:
 
  • At least two reviewers working independently to screen abstracts, with a potential third as a tie-breaker
  • Subject experts to clarify issues related to the topic,
  • Statistician to help with data analysis
  • A project leader to coordinate and write the final report.
  • A librarian(s) to develop comprehensive search strategies and identify appropriate databases

A systematic review can take at least a year to complete - if you are not working in a team, or do not have a significant amount of time to complete your review, you can still apply the methods used in systematic reviews to your own research project. As one of the main goals of a systematic review is to try and eliminate potential bias, working independently can be viewed negatively.  If you must work independently, you should identify this limitation at the time of publication.