Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Systematic Reviews

This guide will introduce you to the process of conducting a systematic review.

Guides for Conducting a Systematic Review

Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews (IOM)

IOM's (2011) standards address the entire systematic review process, from locating, screening, and selecting studies for the review, to synthesizing the findings and assessing the overall quality of the body of evidence, to producing the final report. Includes a link to the IOM Standards for Systematic Reviews.

Cochrane Collaboration Handbook

The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions is the official document that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions. This is Version 5.1.0 of the Handbook; last edited March 20, 2011.

Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA Statement)

The aim of the PRISMA Statement is to help authors improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The focus of PRISMA is randomized controlled trials, but ti can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.

Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews (AHRQ)

This guide was developed to improve transparency, consistency, and scientific rigor of those working on Comparative Effectiveness Reviews.

Campbell Collaboration

Guidelines for producing a Campbell Systematic Review. The Campbell Collaboration is an international research network that produced systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions.

Systematic Reviews: 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. Presents core principles of systematic reviews and highlights issues that are specific to reviews of clinical tests, public health interventions, adverse effects, and economic evaluations. The final chapter discusses incorporation of qualitative research in or alongside effectiveness reviews.

3IE Impact

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation offers a database of systematic reviews on impact evaluations and has methods information for conducting your own evaluation.


The EQUATOR Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting. They provide a list of various standards for reporting in systematic reviews.

Books and Articles about Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

eBooks @ WSU

Systematic Reviews and Librarians

McKibbon, K.A. (2006). Library Trends, 55(1):202-215.

Engaging Medical Librarians to Improve the Quality of Review Articles

Rethlefsen, M.L., Murad, M.H., & Livingston, E.H. (2014). Journal of the American Medical Association, 312(10):999-1000. 

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

Higgins, J.P.T. & Green, S. (2008). Cochrane Collaboration.

Systematic Reviews in Health Care: Meta-Analysis in Context

Egger, M., Smith, G.D., & Altman, G.D. (2001). BMJ Books.

Registering your protocol


International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. Registration is free and open to anyone undertaking systematic reviews of the effects of interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions, for which there is a health related outcome.

Cochrane Collaboration

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network of 28,000+ dedicated people from 100+ countries. They work to help healthcare providers, policy-makers, patients, their advocates and carers, make well-informed decisions about healthcare, based on the best available research evidence, by preparing, updating, and promoting the accessibility of Cochrane Reviews.

Article: Best Practices in Systematic Reviews: The Importance of Protocols and Registration

Article: An International Registry of Systematic Review Protocols

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us