A systematic review is a comprehensive and structured review of the literature and is aimed to clearly establish what is known about a topic. Once researchers have engaged with the Library and completed their collection of studies, they should consult a biostatistician for help with meta-analysis.
Resources are available to Gold Coast Health staff on conducting systematic reviews, and Bond University has software to undertake accelerated systematic reviews here.
Gold Coast Health researchers are strongly encouraged to follow the PRISMA guidelines, and to engage with the research library staff during the planning phase. This will provide accurate and transparent reporting and there are separate reporting guidelines to help with reporting your protocol and reporting your findings.
All systematic review protocols should be registered with PROSPERO prior to data extraction to let other researchers know you are working on this topic.
Completing a systematic review prior to primary research can have multiple benefits:
- It assures the researchers that there is a need for their primary research,
- It enables a researcher to detect where previous research could be improved, helping them develop their protocol, and
- It may lead to a publication of the review.