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
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.
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:
- Indigenous Knowledges (Thing 01)
- Research Methods (Thing 02)
- Maximising Research Visibility Through Open Access (Thing 03)
- Choosing Where To Publish (Thing 04)
- Working With Images – Understanding Copyright and Licensing (Thing 05)
- Working With Images – Storing and Managing Your Files (Thing 06)
- Digital Storytelling (Thing 07)
- Podcasting (Thing 08)
- Blogging (Thing 09)
- Using Social Media to Promote your Research (Thing 10)
- Managing Your Online Visibility (Thing 11)
- Research Engagement and Impact (Thing 12)
- Your Thesis and Public Sharing (Thing 13)
- APIs For Use In Research – The Nuts And Bolts (Thing 14)
- Text Mining (Thing 15)
- Data Visualisation (Thing 16)
- Survey Tools (Thing 17)
- Collaboration Tools (Thing 18)
- Advanced Literature Search (Thing 19)
- Data Management (Thing 21)
- File Management 101 (Thing 22)
- Reference Management (Thing 23)
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.