1. Formulate your research question
- Define your research topic and research question
- Develop a search strategy using search tools, eg. PICO, SPICE, etc.
2. Develop eligibility criteria
- Develop inclusion and exclusion criteria
- Consider search limits, eg. age/population group, publication year, countries, etc.
3. Search the literature
- Search for studies should be extensive, search subject related databases and citation databases
- Search grey literature
- Save search result to a bibliographic software, eg. Endnote
- Manage your references in the bibliography software, eg. Create groups in Endnote
4. Screen the literature, assessing the quality of studies
- Select studies which meet selection criteria. Reasons for inclusion and exclusion should be recorded.
5. Extract the data
- Extract all relevant data from the included studies.
- Organise your data into tables, figures, etc.
7. Synthesize and interpret the results
- The risk of publication bias and other related biases should be explored.
- Use of statistical methods for meta-analysis
8. Publish and disseminate the results
- Clearly present your findings, search strategies, selection criteria, etc.
- Use of checklist and flow diagram to disseminate your result, for example, PRISMA reporting items, CONSORT statement, etc.
- Provide recommendations for practice and policy making if high quality evidence found
- Oral presentation, poster presentation at a conference
- Manuscript for publication.
Crawford, C. C., Boyd, C. C., & Jonas, W. B. (2015). Systematic reviews in practice. Alexandria, VA: Samueli Institute.
Machi, L. A., & McEvoy, B. T. (2016). The literature review: six steps to success (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.