Evidence Synthesis in the Social Sciences

This guide will give you an overview of evidence synthesis methodology and discuss relevant resources and tools.

What is a Systematic Review


  • A Systematic Review is a well-structured research question.
  • A systematic review aims to summarize existing scholarly research on a specific topic. The resources for a systematic review can and often  include both published and unpublished studies.
  • Systematic Reviews are intended to be unbiased and reproducible scholarly research. 
  • Systematic Reviews are not the same as literature reviews; they are more intensive. 


Systematic reviews: 1: Overview & types of review. Library Guides. (n.d.). Retrieved October 14, 2022, from https://unimelb.libguides.com/sysrev/types-of-reviews

Systematic review: Basics of systematic review. LibGuides. (2022, November 4). Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://libguides.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/systematic_review

PRISMA Flow Diagram

PRISMA flow diagram

PRISMA Flow Diagram from doi: 10.1136/bmj.n71

PRISMA is a checklist - an evidence-based minimum set of items - for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Its purpose is to improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. It may also assist in the critical appraisal of systematic reviews. 

Protocol checklists

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Tracey Overbey
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