Skip to main content

Systematic and systematic-like review toolkit

Toolkit of resources to support researchers in the development of systematic and systematic-like reviews

Conducting Advanced Reviews: From Search to Synthesis



Selecting review type


This session provides an overview of different types of reviews in the Health field, their purpose, where to find existing literature, further guidelines and important considerations before conducting your review.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Distinguish between the purposes of advanced literature review types 
  • Identify guidelines for different advanced literature review types 
  • Be able to identify the resources necessary to complete the review   

Establishing the research question and beginning your search

This session provides guidance on how to establish your research question and conduct a preliminary search for existing systematic reviews and key articles. (For best resolution please view in Full Screen mode.)

Learning objectives of this session:

  • Apply search frameworks for developing your research question
  • Find existing reviews on a similar topic
  • Choose appropriate resources to search for your review
  • Search academic databases using basic keyword search techniques

The importance of review protocols

This session provides an overview of review protocols, including appraisal tools available, selection (inclusion and exclusion) criteria, where to search for and register protocols and some further considerations.  

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understand what a review protocol is
  • Identify inclusion and exclusion criteria for your review
  • Know how to write and register a protocol to PRISMA-P and PROSPERO standards

Developing expert searching skills


This session provides an overview of advanced searching techniques, database tools and documentation practices to assist researchers to generate more systematic, transparent, controlled and relevant searches.

Learning Objectives:

  • Use advanced search techniques including field codes, line by line searching, database limiters and subject headings
  • Learn about text mining tools
  • Understand the importance of, and strategies for, documenting your search 

Testing and translating your search 

This session provides an overview of testing search strategies for effectiveness using the PRESS checklist, Gold Standard Set papers and how to effectively translate your search between different database and platforms.

Learning Objectives:

  • Use the PRESS Checklist to proof-read your search
  • Check the effectiveness of your search
  • Understand and identify your Gold Standard Set 
  • Understand the process of translating a search across databases and platforms

Screening, synthesis and dissemination 

This session provides and overview of managing results, screening literature, reporting searches and publishing considerations, with particular emphasis on PRISMA and using different tools to use for the screening, extraction, interpretation and synthesis processes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand options for managing search results
  • Use PRISMA resources to screen search results
  • Select an appropriate critical appraisal tool
  • Choose an appropriate method for data synthesis
  • Identify reporting guidelines and publisher requirements


This session provides a practical overview* of the Covidence tool, including creating an account, platform anatomy, importing and processing articles, critical appraisal and data extraction features.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to create a Covidence account and invite team members
  • Learn how to set up your review
  • Learn about Covidence functions for screening
  • Understand how to import article titles, abstracts and full texts into Covidence
  • Understand how use Covidence for critical appraisal and data extraction

*For further information, please consult the Covidence Guide.