What is a Systematic Review?
Systematic Reviews (SRs) are a form of Evidence-Based Practice.
They are scientific investigations in themselves, with pre-planned methods and an assembly of original studies as their “subjects.” They synthesize the results of multiple primary investigations by using strategies that limit bias and random error... These strategies include a comprehensive search of all potentially relevant articles and the use of explicit, reproducible criteria in the selection of articles for review. Primary research designs and study characteristics are appraised, data are synthesized, and results are interpreted.
Systematic reviews: synthesis of best evidence for clinical decisions. Cook DJ, Mulrow CD, Haynes RB. Ann Intern Med. 1997 Mar 1;126(5):376-80.
The MSKCC Library and Systematic Reviews
Institute of Medicine (IOM) standard (3.1.1) for systematic reviews states: work with a librarian or other information specialist trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy. MSKCC librarians have collaborated with researchers on a number of systematic reviews and have earned CE credit for completing systematic review workshops.
The librarian as co-author is committed to collaborating and supporting the following Systematic Review tasks:
- Determining if a systematic review has already been done on your topic.
- Translating the research question into an appropriate search strategy.
- Translating the search concepts into controlled vocabulary and keywords so that retrieval is maximized at the same time as being precise.
- Recommending specific databases and other information sources to be searched.
- Conducting the literature searches.
- Helping to obtain all required articles cited in search results and other venues.
- Providing guidance and support regarding bibliographic management tools.
- Writing the literature search methodology section for the submitted manuscript.
- Maintaining records of search results and following up with alerts and updates as needed.
In the box to the left, you will find our Systematic Review Search Request form. Please fill it in to the degree that you can and return to Donna Gibson. Your librarian will meet with you to complete it and discuss questions you may have. You may also call 212-639-2109.
We recommend that you print a copy of the two PRISMA documents, which are used by journal editors to help authors understand systematic review publication requirements. They will be discussed in more detail at the first meeting with your librarian.