"A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit methods aimed at minimizing bias, in order to produce more reliable findings that can be used to inform decision making." Source: Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions
Key characteristics of a systematic review are:
Need to know the difference between a scoping review, a systematic review, and a realist review? The links below offer some excellent background and guidance.
Note that systematic reviews can be very time intensive (up to 18 months, by some estimates). Other review methods may be more appropriate for you if you have limited time, or are working alone. The PredicTER tool can give you an estimate of how much time may be needed for your review.
Search the following databases in your subject area to find if a recent systematic review has already been done. A good strategy is to find one on a closely related topic and build on its search strategy.