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Evidence Based Practice: Systematic Reviews


Systematic Review: A summary of the medical literature that uses explicit methods to perform a comprehensive literature search and critical appraisal of individual studies and uses appropriate statistical techniques to combine these valid studies.

(Centre of Evidence-based Medicine Toronto. Glossary of EBM terms.[cited 2012 Jul 2]; Available from:

Systematic Literature Review: A systematic,explicit, comprehensive, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and synthesising the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners.

(Okoli, Chitu and Schabram Kira, A Guide to Conducting a Systematic Literature Review of Information Systems Research (May 5, 2010). Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, Vol.10, p.26, 2010. Available at SSRN:

Rapid ReviewA brief synthesis and judgement of the available research evidence related to a specific question posed by policy officers. The research evidence is drawn primarily from existing systematic reviews, meta-analyses and economic evaluations.

(Department of Health and Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia,. Rapid reviews.   [updated 2014, May 15; cited 2015 Jul 15]; Available from:

Integrative Review: The broadest type of research review methods allowing for the simultaneous inclusion of experimental and non-experimental research in order to more fully understand a phenomenon of concern. Integrative reviews may also combine data from the theoretical as well as empirical literature.

(Whittemore R, Knafl K. The integrative review: updated methodology. J Adv Nurs.  2005 [cited 2015 July 17];52(5):546-53 DOI:

Systematic Approaches to Searching the Health Sciences Literature

A series by the  Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale on how to systematically search the health sciences literature.

To view the following tutorials go to 

Systematic Review Guidelines

Smart Searching

Smart Searching Smart Searching: Logical Steps to building and testing your Literature Search

Some tricks and hints to enhance literature search techniques; for librarians and researchers (especially in the health sector). From CareSearch and Flinders Filters

Search Filters

Search filters will enable you to limit your searches to the most appropriate study type for your clinical or review question.