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Systematic Reviews, Scoping Reviews, and other Knowledge Syntheses

Overview of knowledge syntheses

Types of knowledge syntheses

There are many types of knowledge syntheses and it is important to choose the right type of synthesis for your question. The following resources provide a general overview of the types of knowledge syntheses being used in current research.

This video is the recording of a webinar by Dr. Andrew Booth, describing the different types of reviews.

Booth, A. Fifty shades of review [Internet]. Sheffield: EAHIL. 2016 Nov 24. Video: 70 min
 

What review is right for you?

What review is right for you? is a tool to help guide your choice of a knowledge synthesis method when looking at quantitative studies.

Journal articles on knowledge synthesis

Systematic reviews

Guidance on conducting systematic reviews

Systematic reviews should address specific, answerable questions and may be limited to relevant study designs, depending on the type of question (e.g., intervention, etiology, prognosis, diagnosis).

There are handbooks, standards, and guides to help you through the process of conducting systematic reviews, and these books can also be useful for other types of knowledge syntheses.

Resources for specific types of systematic reviews

These resources provide guidance on specific types of systematic reviews.

Munn Z, Stern C, Aromataris E, Lockwood C, Jordan Z. What kind of systematic review should I conduct? A proposed typology and guidance for systematic reviewers in the medical and health sciences. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2018;18(1):5.

Systematic reviews on adverse effects of interventions

  • Peryer G, Golder S, Junqueira D, Vohra S, Loke YK. Chapter 19: Adverse effects. In: Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 6.1 (updated September 2020). Cochrane, 2020. Available from www.training.cochrane.org/handbook.

Systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy

Systematic reviews on environmental health sciences

Systematic reviews on equity and specific populations

  • Welch VA, Petkovic J, Jull J, Hartling L, Klassen T, Kristjansson E, Pardo Pardo J, Petticrew M, Stott DJ, Thomson D, Ueffing E, Williams K, Young C, Tugwell P. Chapter 16: Equity and specific populations. In: Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 6.1 (updated September 2020). Cochrane, 2020. Available from www.training.cochrane.org/handbook.

Systematic reviews of genetic association studies

Systematic reviews of prognostic studies

Systematic reviews on public health and health promotion

Scoping reviews

Guidance on scoping reviews

A scoping review aims to address broader, more complex, and exploratory research questions where many different study designs may be applicable.

These resources will provide definitions and guidance on how to conduct a scoping review.

Other reviews

Resources for other types of knowledge syntheses

Please note: This list is not complete but provides information on other review types which the health sciences librarians have been involved in supporting.

Overviews of reviews (Umbrella reviews)

  • Pollock M, Fernandes RM, Becker LA, Pieper D, Hartling L. Chapter V: Overviews of Reviews. In: Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 6.1 (updated September 2020). Cochrane, 2020. Available from www.training.cochrane.org/handbook.

Rapid reviews

Realist reviews

  • The RAMESES Projects - Includes information on publication, quality, and reporting standards -- as well as training materials -- for realist reviews (also called realist syntheses), meta-narrative reviews, and realist evaluation

Contact us

Notice

Due to a large influx of requests, there may be an extended wait time for librarian support on knowledge syntheses.

 

Find a librarian in your subject area to help you with your knowledge synthesis project.

 

Or contact the librarians at the
Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering
schulich.library@mcgill.ca

Need help? Ask us!

Online training resources

Online training resources

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