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Guidelines overview

Goal:  The goal of these guidelines is to provide an overview of the systematic review process suitable for novice researchers.

Scope: These guidelines are intended to support all types of secondary study including standard quantitative systematic reviews, mapping studies, qualitative reviews, mixed reviews and tertiary studies. However they rely heavily on the guidelines developed for medical research, and assume that all systematic review have a core goal to support process improvement with high quality empirical evidence.

The guidelines are intended only to provide an overview of the basic system review process. However, doing a systematic review well is difficult. Before deciding to organise a systematic review process themselves, novice researchers are advised to read existing SE systematic review reports, and to gain practical experience by working as a member of a systematic review team.

The guidelines are organized around the three major stages in a systematic review:

  1. Planning
  2. Conduct
  3. Reporting & Dissemination

Outcome: Novice researchers should have sufficient knowledge to understand text books  that discuss systematic reviews in more detail, and, with appropriate supervision, should be able to act as a member of a systematic review team.