Skip to main content

How can we help with systematic reviews?

There are many PhD students and researchers within the University who are undertaking research in the form of a systematic review, particularly within medicine, health and psychology.

We wanted to highlight the stages of a systematic review where the Library Research Services Team can provide help and support.

We can advise on any of the stages in red and with reference management.
What is a systematic review?
A systematic review is a type of literature review that attempts to find all published and unpublished material on a specific research question. The studies found are then appraised against specific eligibility criteria. Data is extracted and synthesized from the eligible studies to produce a summary of evidence from the relevant research.

Scoping Search
  • To identify existing systematic reviews in the research area.
  • To check the scope of the research available and help inform the research question.
  • To help find appropriate databases, keywords and subject terms for the search strategy section of the protocol.
Full Search
  • Full search strategy including the use of keywords, subject terms, truncation, wildcards, adjacency searching and other search options - in a documented manner that could be replicated by other researchers.
  • Perform the search strategy on appropriate databases e.g. Medline, Embase, PsycINFO.
  • Translate and perform the search across different interfaces.
Full Text Retrieval
  • Obtaining the full text of the studies which fit the eligibility criteria including those not immediately available through University journal subscriptions.
Additional Searching
  • To identify and obtain eligible studies which were not indexed in the literature databases.
  • Could include:
    • Hand searching (browsing) of key journals.
    • References from related systematic reviews.
    • Grey literature - reports/publications from the government, drug companies, charities etc.
Update Search
  • Re-running saved searches or setting up search alerts to identify new research in the area.
References Management
  • Use of software such as EndNote or RefWorks to store store, manage and de-duplicate references.
  • Use of codes and fields within the software for use at the screening stage of the review.
  • Creation of bibliographies for publication.
If you would like help and advise on any of the above please email 


Popular posts from this blog

Finding our training

I had some feedback last week that searching PROSE is not the easiest way to find out what library training is on offer.

We sympathise with you! An alternative is to look at the list of training on our Researchers page

Or you can look at brand new guide to the Postgraduate Researcher Workshop Programme

If you have any questions about the training please email Selina or myself:

Library publishing services

The Library offers several services to help you publish and disseminate your research. We can help you publish reports, journals and conference proceedings. We also support the publishing of digital collections.

Research publications The Library can help you to publish one-off reports in an open access format. See this example from the SAPPHIRE Group in Health Sciences.  If you want to start a new open access journal or conference proceedings, we have our own version of Open Journal Systems (OJS). This is journal management and publishing platform for academic publications. Articles published through this system are free to any reader, and no APCs are charged to authors. 
Please contact Library Research Services for more information:

Digital collections Some researchers will be collecting materials as part of a project, and may want to publish them online. The Library supports two platforms to do this: is an easy to use platform for creating websites to d…

Research Elevenses: Media Resources for Research

A new term begins and so does a new series of Research Elevenses. These are 30 minute updates on key issues for Leicester researchers. Come along in person or join the webinar. The second in the series is:

Andrew Dunn, Librarian for the Social Sciences will be presenting.  Details Wednesday 18th January, 11am in Attenborough 210 Link to webinar: To join the webinar, just click enter as a guest. A recording will be available after the session.
Missed last week's talk on "What can Library Research Services do for you?"
Watch the recording: