"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.
Search the following databases in your subject area to find if a systematic review has already been done. A good strategy is to find one on a closely related topic and build on its search strategy.
Not all systematic reviews are high quality. When reading a systematic review, look at the search strategy; is it missing important concepts? Do the reviewers address the quality of the articles they discuss?
The resources below may be helpful when evaluating systematic reviews.