Skip to Main Content

Which review is that? A guide to review types.

A typology of literature reviews

Rapid Evidence Assessment


Often referred to synonymously with Rapid Reviews, “Rapid evidence assessments provide a more structured and rigorous search and quality assessment of the evidence than a literature review but are not as exhaustive as a systematic review”. They can be used to “gain an overview of the density and quality of evidence on a particular issue, support programming decisions by providing evidence on key topics, and support the commissioning of further research by identifying evidence gaps” (Department for International Development, 2017).


Further Reading/Resources

Crawford, C., Boyd, C., Jain, S., Khorsan, R., & Jonas, W. (2015). Rapid Evidence Assessment of the Literature (REAL©): streamlining the systematic review process and creating utility for evidence-based health care. BMC research notes, 8(1), 1-9. Full Text

Thomas, J., Newman, M., & Oliver, S. (2013). Rapid evidence assessments of research to inform social policy: taking stock and moving forward. Evidence & policy: a journal of research, debate and practice, 9(1), 5-27. Full Text

Hamel, C., Michaud, A., Thuku, M., Skidmore, B., Stevens, A., Nussbaumer-Streit, B., & Garritty, C. (2021). Defining rapid reviews: a systematic scoping review and thematic analysis of definitions and defining characteristics of rapid reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 129, 74-85. Full Text



Bagnasco, A., Cadorin, L., Barisone, M., Bressan, V., Iemmi, M., Prandi, M., ... & Sasso, L. (2018). Ethical dimensions of paediatric nursing: A rapid evidence assessment. Nursing ethics, 25(1), 111-122. Full Text PDF
Department for International Development, (2019), Rapid Evidence Assessment. GOV.UK

Available at