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Research Support

Systematic Reviews

A systematic review is a "scientific investigation that focuses on a specific question and uses explicit, prespecified scientific methods to identify, select, assess, and summarize the findings of similar but separate studies" (IOM). A systematic review is fundamentally different than a narrative literature review in that it is a time-intensive, evidence-based, systematic analysis of literature aimed to reduce bias and produce high quality evidence.

The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Standards for Systematic Reviews recommends that a systematic review team should "work with a librarian or other information specialist trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy" (3.1.1) and "use an independent librarian or other information specialist to peer review the search strategy." (3.1.3)

For more information on how the library can assist you, please visit our page on Systematic Reviews.


A meta-analysis is a specialized subset of systematic reviews which uses statistical techniques to combine data from individual research studies. For more information and assistance with conducting a meta-analysis, please contact the HPD Statistical Consulting Center.