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Help! Where can I find out more about systematic reviews?

Getting help with systematic reviews

The process of undertaking research and systematic review can be quite daunting and knowing where to start to better understand what is involved can be challenging. 

Luckily there are many great resources available. We highlight a few recommendations from both our community as well as introducing you to some passionate and knowledgeable people, who are willing to share their experiences and skills learnt to help others.

When we canvassed the question on our social channels many liked the posts and followed hoping to find some gold nuggets, and a few came through.

Consider these reference papers and books as a starting point:

  1. Xiao and Watson, 2017: “Guidance on Conducting a Systematic Literature Review” This paper provides a brief overview regarding the steps in a systematic review. Included in their description is  a figure describing several types of reviews. 

  2. Finding What Works in Health Care is a book from the National Academies Standards for Systematic Reviews, which focuses on the systematic method over narrative methods.

  3. The Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews and interventions The official guide that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions.

We also have people in our community that create easy to digest content on all, or part of, the systematic review process.

Benita Olivier

Benita Olivier

Benita is a personal professor in musculoskeletal physiotherapy in the Physiotherapy Department of the University of the Witwatersrand and Director of the Wits Cricket Research Hub for Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is an avid researcher with a high level of research productivity, aimed at the prevention of sports injuries, with a focus on human movement analysis and the founder of Research Masterminds.

Research Masterminds shares solutions to challenges typically experienced by anyone involved in a research project, whether it is in 

the capacity of a postgraduate student, academic or researcher. You can find out more about this venture and the available tools at research masterminds or follow Benita on youtube. An example of one of many great short videos she has available is: What is a systematic review? | Explained | Quick and Easy This video explains what a systematic review is – a brief and easy-to-understand clarification, with an example of a completed systematic review. 

Carrie Price

Carrie Price

Carrie has been a guest blogger on Covidence writing a few articles on search.

She is a medical librarian at Towson University’s Cook Library, with a history of collaborating with research teams in evidence-based practice, systematic reviews, knowledge translation, and quality improvement projects.

Apart from covering some specific topics for us, Carrie also has a great youtube channel with tutorials about literature searching, citation management and more, as a free resource for the community.

An example of what you can find on her channel is Evidence-based literature: Where to look and What to look for.



Apart from the Cochrane handbook on systematic reviews,  Cochrane offers some great online resources  which covers key areas of the Cochrane methodology and systematic review. They also run the cochrane task exchange which is a practical way for anyone to get involved and collaborate on reviews. There’s nothing like hands-on experience!

Covidence Academy

We also have a resource to support the community and learn more about systematic reviews.  Covidence Academy is a destination where you can find easy to read guides on the systematic review process, as well as step by step videos on how to use the Covidence platform. This is a  free resource irrespective if you have an account with Covidence.


Hopefully these resources will be useful to you. If you have any suggestions or recommendations for others, feel free to follow us and share on Twitter @Covidence.

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