What Review is Right for You?

Many researchers say they want to conduct a systematic review, only to be dismayed by the amount of time, effort, skill, and teamwork required to pull off that feat. Even with time and a good team, the research question might not be best suited to systematic review methodology.

There are actually many other review methodologies that researchers can choose depending on their research question. We've put together a guide to make the distinctions between review types easier to understand and to help guide you in selecting the best methodology for your research question. Our guide includes links to helpful resources, including the newly updated Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) 2020 reporting guideline as well as different manuals and handbooks.

Regardless of the review you choose, we have a product that helps facilitate article screening and data extraction called Covidence. This web-based tool guides you and your team through title/abstract screening, full-text screening, data abstraction, and quality assessment. It was designed by researchers familiar with the systematic review process to make conducting reviews more efficient. It is the primary screening and data extraction tool for Cochrane Collaboration authors. Duke affiliates can sign up for account; Covidence has a number of useful how-to videos and tips on their knowledge base.

If you have questions about which review is right for you or about Covidence, please contact the medical librarians to discuss your project.