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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 website on systematic reviews demonstrates the 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 me.


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

  • Munn, Zachary  Peters, Micah Stern, Cindy Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach BMC Medical Research Methodology, 2018, Volume 18, Number 1, Page 1
  • Pham, Mai T et al. “ scoping review of scoping reviews: advancing the approach and enhancing the consistency.” Research synthesis methods vol. 5,4 (2014): 371-85. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1123

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.

Links checked 18/06/2019