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Systematic and Scoping Reviews

Your Timeline

On average, the systematic review process is 12 to 18 months. Each step needs to be carefully planned, executed and documented.


Borah, R., Brown, A. W., Capers, P. L., & Kaiser, K. A. (2017). Analysis of the time and workers needed to conduct systematic reviews of medical interventions using data from the PROSPERO registry. BMJ Open, 7(2), e012545.

Your Team

Those planning a systematic review are encouraged to have a team of individuals, each with different skill sets.

The team should have a minimum of three members to minimize bias in the review process but a larger team is recommended. 

The team should consist of members with the following skills/knowledge:

  • Content expert(s)
  • Methodology expert(s)
  • Librarian or search expert
  • Statistician/data manager

Standards, Manuals and Guidelines

A range of standards and guidelines are available to help you plan and conduct your systematic review. PRISMA for example includes a list of items necessary for reporting a review. Having this list in advance will aid in the planning process.

Standards and manuals for systematic reviews:

Guidelines for documenting and reporting:

Search For Published Systematic Reviews

You will want to be sure that there isn't an existing review on your topic already. Here are some places you can look for existing systematic reviews.

Databases containing systematic reviews available through the Library:

There are also journals that focus specifically on publishing systematic reviews.