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Literature Searching for Systematic Reviews

Guide Editors

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Elaine Lasda
Room 201
Dewey Graduate Library
Hawley Hall
135 Western Avenue
Albany NY 12222
(518) 442-3695

Guest Editor

Literature Searching for Systematic Review

Welcome to our library guide to resources for systematic reviews! Systematic reviews are important in public health, social welfare, health sciences and a growing number of disciplines. In this guide, we focus on important aspects related to the literature search.

For further questions, please contact;

Elaine Lasda, subject librarian for  Social Welfare -

Sue Kaczor, subject librarian for Public Health and Biology -

What is a Systematic Review?

According to the Cochrane Library: "A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making."


Searching Tips and Tricks

  • Subjects vs. keywords
  • Select a few important articles
  • Select databases
  • Identify scope of coverage
  • Identify date range
  • Document, document document!

Searching Syntax

  • Use truncators
  • Use Boolean
  • Save searches
  • Use search history to combine concept blocks
  • Use advanced search