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Systematic Reviews in the Health Sciences

A guide to systematic and other types of reviews in the health sciences. Also describes the types of support available to systematic review teams through the Health Sciences Library

Standards and Guidelines

The Institute of Medicine's Finding what works in health care: standards for systematic reviews establishes best practices for all stages of a systematic review

Cochrane Handbooks:  The Cochrane Collaboration has a handbook for systematic reviews of interventions, and one for systematic reviews of tests of diagnostic accuracy.

PRESS (Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies) is a guideline for peer-reviewing systematic literature searches. The guideline is described in this article, and Appendix A is a downloadable Word version of the reviewing template. A more in-depth explanation and elaboration on the guideline can be found at

PRISMA  helps authors to improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Increasingly, journals require authors of systematic reviews to use this tool, which consists of a checklist of required elements that should be reported, and a diagram documenting the flow of articles identified, appraised, and included/excluded.

ENTREQ (Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research) is a a reporting standard for qualitative evidence syntheses.


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