Systematic Reviews, Tools and Services. Providing expertise and systems to manage systematic reviews. Link:

Systematic Reviews | Advice

Writing a systematic review can seem daunting, and trying to figure out what research has been done on a particular topic can leave you scratching your head. Here are 3 tips on getting started, and resources to help refine your approach.

Tip #1. Start your systematic review by developing an appropriate research question.

Your systematic review should not be too broad (expect 10-50 papers to be included on the topic). It should be specific enough to interest other researchers and decision-makers in the field. Before starting, read other systematic reviews in your discipline to get a feel for the process involved, and to check if your question has already been answered. Senior Librarian Patrick Condron (Brownless Biomedical Library) walks us through the systematic review landscape in Thing #20 of the 23 Research Things blog (read the full post).

Tip #2. Not every literature review is a systematic review – knowing the difference.

This webinar recording outlines the differences between a narrative review and a systematic or scoping review, as well as the reporting requirements involved in systematic reviews, and what management tools and searching services are available from the University to assist with writing a systematic or scoping review.

This video was created as a part of Researcher Connect Online 2020 – an online program of digital tools and skills for University of Melbourne researchers that ran from 9 June – 3 July 2020. Visit the Researcher Connect website for more information and resources.

Tip #3. Knowing when (and where) to ask for help.

Some researchers may choose to ask for help at the planning stage, and others much later on. There’s rarely a bad time to ask for help. You can click here to contact a librarian from your discipline for a research consultation on your systematic review, or other research queries.

Bonus tips: Free access to Cochrane Modules and other online learning

Cochrane Interactive Learning

10 hours of self-directed online learning on the complete systematic review process for both new and experienced review authors and following Cochrane methodology. All University staff and students have access to this online course via the Library.

Systematic Reviews Library Guide

This guide steps users through the systematic reviews process in 7 stages, and includes sections on Further Reading, Tools and where to get further help.

Productive procrastination and other Research Things

Indulge in some productive procrastination with 23 Research Things: browse 23 blog posts that highlight digital research tools or topics, and their value to your research practice. Authored by other researchers, technologists, data scientists, and librarians, features include:


Subscribe to Researcher@Library Blog to get all the latest news. More researcher training and workshops are listed in your Calendar via Grad Space on LMS Canvas. All University of Melbourne graduate researchers are automatically enrolled into Grad Space on LMS Canvas for periodic announcements that highlight upcoming programs, events, and other opportunities.


Photo by ready made from Pexels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *