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Systematic Review Service

Systematic Review Standards

The quality of systematic reviews varies widely.  Adhering to standards will increase the scientific rigor of reviews by reducing errors and biases.

These standards can help in the process of conducting a systematic review. 

Major Standards:

PRISMA -- "PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses."

Cochrane Handbook -- It is the official document that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions.  

Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews -- Recommendations from the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies (formerly the Institute of Medicine) for standards for systematic reviews of the comparative effectiveness of medical or surgical interventions.

CRD’s Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Health Care -- "...provides practical guidance for undertaking evidence synthesis based on a thorough understanding of systematic review methodology." from the Center for Reviews and Dissemination from UK. 

Other Standards

Joanna Briggs Reviewers' Manual -- from The Joanna Briggs Institute, The University of Adelaide, 2011

Methods for a Systematic Review -- from EPPI-Centre

Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews -- from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, April 2012

Campbell Collaboration Systematic Reviews: Policies and Guidelines -- from the Campbell Collaboration

MOOSE (Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology): Proposal for reporting

(Sources courtesy of Dartmouth College Library)