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Systematic reviews: Guidelines

Guidelines for systematic reviews

  • There are a number of systematic review guidelines available, including the PRISMA Statement, Cochrane Handbook and JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis. In many respects they are very similar.
  • This library is only able to offer advice on the PRISMA Statement.

The PRISMA Statement

The PRISMA Statement is a detailed guide to the systematic review process. Many published systematic reviews refer to following the PRISMA guidelines, but there are also other guidelines.

Content on http://www.prisma-statement.org is well worth exploring. It includes:

  • PRISMA Statement - guidelines for reviews and meta analyses including examples, explanation and elaboration, checklist and flow chart
  • Protocols - help with planning your review and registering a protocol on PROSPERO
  • PRISMA extensions - for abstracts, harms, protocols etc

PRISMA checklist

Cochrane Guidelines

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

Recommended for:

  • Members of a Cochrane Review team - you will know if you are.
  • Reviewers looking for specific guidance on processes not covered elsewhere eg search strings for clinical trials

Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Guidelines

JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis 

  • Guide to JBI methodology for conducting systematic reviews and evidence syntheses
  • Manual openly available online without a subscription.

Recommended for:

  • Nurse researchers (although also relevant to other professions)
  • Researchers with access to subscriptions for Joanna Briggs Institute and JBI SUMARI software (not available through SVHM)