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Doing a systematic review

Guidance on the steps involved in doing a systematic review, and ways in which the Library can help.

Running and recording your search

Example of a search history showing searches in sets and combining themIt is very important to keep an accurate record of your searches so that they can be included in your report, enabling someone to reproduce them if necessary.

  • Keep a record of the date you searched, the name of the database, the platform, your search words, and any limits.
  • Register with the databases so that you can access your search strategy, combine searches, and save them.
  • Build up each search in steps, recording the number of results found at each stage.
  • Where possible set up alerts using your search strategy so that you are notified of any new papers relevant to your review.

Find examples of existing search strategies

You can find details of search strategies others have used by looking at previous examples of systematic reviews. Select from the following sites: