The aim of a systematic review it is to find all information available on a particular topic. It is therefore important to widely and thoroughly search published and unpublished research.
There are a number of different sources that can potentially be searched for the literature, including:
For systematic reviews in the health-related disciplines suggested databases include the following.
The following open access databases include systematic reviews:
Grey literature is material not commercially or conventionally published. It is produced by government, academics, business, and industry, in both print and electronic formats. Examples include:
More information on Finding grey literature is available on the Literature reviews library guide.
Determining if a thesis has already been completed that is closely related to your topic is recommended.
Conference papers can be published in books, journal articles or abstracts, and many organisations make them available online.
You can refine your search by publication or document type when searching many library databases. Use Google or Google Scholar to search for the name of the conference or organisation.
Systematic reviews may be published in the peer-reviewed journal literature. You can find these reviews using databases and restricting your search to publication type 'systematic review'.
Systematic reviews are also produced by government, NGOs, agencies and academic institutions and made available on websites. These reviews are an example of 'unpublished' (or 'grey') research. To find these reviews, you need to:
The Cochrane Collaboration is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, and patient advocates producing systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy. Cochrane reviews are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. Cochrane reviews are published online in The Cochrane Library.
The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) is the international not-for-profit, research and development arm of the School of Translational Science based within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. JBI collaborates internationally with over 70 entities across the world in producing systematic reviews. JBI reviews are published in the subscription journal JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports.
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