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Posted: August 7th, 2023

The Purpose of Conducting a Systematic Review of Literature

The Purpose Of Conducting A Systematic Review Of Literature. The purpose of conducting a systematic review of literature is to comprehensively and rigorously summarize existing research on a specific topic, providing an evidence-based foundation for decision-making and identifying gaps for future studies. Unlike a traditional literature review, a systematic review follows a predefined protocol, employs a systematic search strategy, and critically appraises studies for inclusion based on predefined criteria. The key steps involve formulating a research question, searching multiple databases, screening and selecting relevant studies, extracting data, assessing study quality, and synthesizing the findings. Writing a systematic review requires adherence to a structured format, ensuring transparency and replicability of the process. For guidance on systematic review writing, you can refer to [url=https://literaturereviewwritingservice.com/help-with-writing-a-systematic-review/]https://literaturereviewwritingservice.com/help-with-writing-a-systematic-review/[/url]

The Purpose of Conducting a Systematic Review of Literature

A systematic review of literature is a rigorous and comprehensive method used to summarize existing research on a specific topic, providing an evidence-based foundation for decision-making in various fields such as healthcare, education, and social sciences. Unlike traditional literature reviews, which can be subjective and lack transparency, a systematic review follows a predefined protocol and employs a systematic search strategy to identify and critically appraise relevant studies for inclusion based on predefined criteria. This process ensures that the review is unbiased, transparent, and replicable, making it an essential tool for evidence-based practice and policy development.

Formulating a Research Question

The first step in conducting a systematic review is formulating a clear and specific research question. The question should address a specific problem or issue, guiding the entire review process. It is crucial to define the population, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) elements when relevant to ensure a focused and structured approach.

Systematic Search Strategy

A critical aspect of a systematic review is the development of a comprehensive and systematic search strategy to identify relevant studies. This involves searching multiple databases, including academic journals, conference proceedings, dissertations, and gray literature. The goal is to minimize publication bias and ensure that all relevant studies are considered.

Screening and Selecting Studies

Once the search is complete, the identified studies go through a two-step screening process. In the first step, titles and abstracts are screened for relevance to the research question and inclusion criteria. In the second step, full-text articles are reviewed to determine their eligibility. Studies that meet the predefined inclusion criteria are selected for further analysis.

Data Extraction and Study Quality Assessment

Data extraction is a crucial step where relevant information from each selected study is systematically collected. This process typically includes details on study design, sample size, intervention methods, outcome measures, and results. Additionally, the quality of each included study is assessed using established appraisal tools or checklists to evaluate the risk of bias and methodological rigor.

Synthesizing the Findings

The final step in conducting a systematic review involves synthesizing the findings from the selected studies. Depending on the nature of the research question and the included studies, the synthesis may involve meta-analysis (quantitative synthesis) or narrative synthesis (qualitative synthesis). The goal is to provide a clear and comprehensive summary of the evidence, which may lead to new insights, patterns, or trends in the existing body of knowledge.

Structured Format and Transparency

Writing a systematic review requires adherence to a structured format to ensure clarity and transparency in reporting. This format often follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, which provide a comprehensive checklist for reporting systematic reviews. The structured format aids readers in understanding the review process, facilitating reproducibility, and enabling critical appraisal of the review itself.

A systematic review of literature plays a vital role in evidence-based decision-making, providing a rigorous and comprehensive summary of existing research on a specific topic. By following a predefined protocol, conducting a systematic search, and critically appraising studies for inclusion, systematic reviews minimize bias and ensure transparency and replicability. The process of conducting a systematic review is an essential step towards advancing knowledge in various disciplines and identifying areas that require further investigation.


Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D. G., & PRISMA Group. (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement. PLoS medicine, 6(7), e1000097.

Petticrew, M., & Roberts, H. (2006). Systematic reviews in the social sciences: A practical guide. Blackwell Publishing.

Higgins, J. P., & Green, S. (Eds.). (2011). Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions (Vol. 4). John Wiley & Sons.

Mulrow, C. D. (1994). Rationale for systematic reviews. BMJ, 309(6954), 597-599. doi:10.1136/bmj.309.6954.597

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