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Which review is that? A guide to review types.

A typology of literature reviews

Systematic Review

Systematic reviews present a transparent, exhaustive approach to reviewing the primary sources of literature on a given topic.

Systematic reviews...

"provide syntheses of the state of knowledge in a field, from which future research priorities can be identified; they can address questions that otherwise could not be answered by individual studies; they can identify problems in primary research that should be rectified in future studies; and they can generate or evaluate theories about how or why phenomena occur. Systematic reviews therefore generate various types of knowledge for different users of reviews (such as patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and policy makers)." (Page, et al., 2021)


See our dedicated guide for Systematic Reviews:


Further Reading/Resources

Higgins, J. P., Thomas, J., Chandler, J., Cumpston, M., Li, T., Page, M. J., & Welch, V. A. (Eds.). (2019). Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. John Wiley & Sons. Full text

Aromataris E., Munn, Z., (Eds). (2020) JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis. JBI, 2020. Full text

Page MJ, McKenzie JE, Bossuyt PM, Boutron I, Hoffmann TC, Mulrow CD, et al. (2021). The PRISMA 2020 statement: an updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews. Systematic Reviews 2021;10:89. Full text

Muka, T., Glisic, M., Milic, J., Verhoog, S., Bohlius, J., Bramer, W., ... & Franco, O. H. (2020). A 24-step guide on how to design, conduct, and successfully publish a systematic review and meta-analysis in medical research. European Journal of Epidemiology, 35(1), 49-60. Full text



Schmidt-Hansen M, Bennett MI, Arnold S, Bromham N, Hilgart JS, Page AJ, Chi Y. Oxycodone for cancerÔÇÉrelated pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2022, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD003870. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003870.pub7.  Full text

Pittayanon, R., Lau, J. T., Yuan, Y., Leontiadis, G. I., Tse, F., Surette, M., & Moayyedi, P. (2019). Gut microbiota in patients with irritable bowel syndrome—a systematic review. Gastroenterology157(1), 97-108. Full text


Page, M.J., McKenzie, J.E., Bossuyt, P.M. et al. The PRISMA 2020 statement: an updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews. Syst Rev 10, 89 (2021). Full text