Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Systematic Reviews and other evidence synthesis projects

About this guide

This guide presents practical tools and advice for conducting Systematic Reviews and other evidence syntheses and comprehensive literature search projects:

  • Review types
  • Outline of the SR process
  • Formulating an effective search strategy
  • Selecting & searching databases
  • Managing search results
  • Reporting search methods
  • How HSL librarians can help

This guide does NOT replace the understanding of research design and methodology you will gain from reading sources such as the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook or the JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis.
Researchers new to systematic reviews, scoping reviews, and other forms of comprehensive evidence synthesis are strongly encouraged to read a guide appropriate to their review type and research question. If you're not sure which would be the most useful, the HSL Librarians can make recommendations.

What is Evidence Synthesis?

'Evidence synthesis' is a collective term for types of literature research that bring together all relevant information on a well-formulated research question using a consistent, reproducible methodology. Most forms of evidence synthesis have one or more sets of guidelines for conducting a high-quality review. Systematic reviews and scoping reviews are two of the more common types.

Evidence syntheses should be conducted in an unbiased, reproducible way to provide evidence for practice and policy-making, as well as to identify gaps in the research. Some types include a meta-analysis, a more quantitative process of synthesizing and visualizing data retrieved from various studies.

Although systematic reviews are one of the most well-known review types, there are a variety of different types of reviews that vary in terms of scope, comprehensiveness, time constraints, and types of studies included. For more information about different review types, visit the Types of Reviews section.

Health Sciences Library | 1959 NE Pacific Street, T334 Health Sciences Building, Box 357155, Seattle, WA 98195-7155 USA, 206-543-3390 | Privacy | Terms
CC BY-NC 4.0 Text on this page created by UW Libraries is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license. Images and video are not included. See details.