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Systematic Reviews

About this guide

This guide has been created to assist with Systematic Reviews.  It is based on the work of Margaret Foster An overview article from the office of the systematic review consultant and her steps of her Pieces process, as described in her book Assembling the Pieces of Systematic Review: A Guide for Librarians. If you would like any additions to this page please contact the library.

There are many types of reviews and here we provide a descriptive insight into the most common types of reviews

Critical review

Literature review


Mixed studies review/mixed methods review

Systematic review

Scoping review

Umbrella review


Gough et al.: Clarifying differences between review designs and methods. Systematic Reviews 2012 1:28.

A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies.  Health Info Libr J. 2009 Jun;26(2):91-108. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x.

Booth, A., Noyes, J., Flemming, K., Gerhardus, A., Wahlster, P., van der Wilt, G. J., ... & Rehfuess, E. (2018). Structured methodology review identified seven (RETREAT) criteria for selecting qualitative evidence synthesis approaches. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 99, 41-52.

Grossetta Nardini HK, Batten J, Funaro MC, Garcia-Milian R, Nyhan, K, Spak JM, Wang L, Glover JG. Librarians as methodological peer reviewers for systematic reviews: results of an online survey. Research Integrity & Peer Review 4, 23 (2019) doi:10.1186/s41073-019-0083-5