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Doing a Systematic Review

Doing a Systematic Review
A Student's Guide

Second Edition
Edited by:
Additional resources:

October 2017 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Written in a friendly, accessible style by an expert team of authors with years of experience in both conducting and supervising systematic reviews, this is the perfect guide to using systematic review methodology in a research project. It provides clear answers to all review-related questions, including:
  • How do I formulate an appropriate review question?
  • What’s the best way to manage my review?
  • How do I develop my search strategy?
  • How do I get started with data extraction?
  • How do I assess the quality of a study?
  • How can I analyse and synthesize my data?
  • How should I write up the discussion and conclusion sections of my dissertation or thesis?
Rumona Dickson, M. Gemma Cherry and Angela Boland
1. Carrying Out a Systematic Review as a Master's Thesis
Gerlinde Pilkington and Juliet Hounsome
2. Planning and Managing My Review
M. Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson
3. Defining My Review Question and Identifying Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
Yenal Dundar and Nigel Fleeman
4. Developing My Search Strategy
Yenal Dundar and Nigel Freeman
5. Applying Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
Nigel Fleeman and Yenal Dundar
6. Data Extraction: Where Do I Begin?
Janette Greenhalgh and Tamara Brown
7. Quality Assessment: Where Do I Begin?
Michaela Brown and Marty Richardson
8. Understanding and Synthesizing Numerical Data from Intervention Studies
M. Gemma Cherry
9. Writing My Discussion and Conclusions
M. Gemma Cherry and Gerlinde Pilkington
10. Disseminating My Review
M. Gemma Cherry, Helen Smith, Elizabeth Perkins and Angela Boland
11. Reviewing Qualitative Evidence
Angela Boland, Sophie Beale and M. Gemma Cherry
12. Reviewing Economic Evaluations
Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson
Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson

"Placing myself in the capable hands of this trusted guide allows me to draw on practical tips and concise explanations without the nagging fear that I've missed something. If you want to travel light, unencumbered by unnecessary baggage, making steady progress to successfully complete your very own systematic review journey then climb on board!"

Andrew Booth
University of Sheffield

Insightful, pragmatic and student-centred.  This user-friendly guide will help students build confidence and skills while maintaining enthusiasm through their whole research journey.

Cary A Brown
University of Alberta

It’s like having the map to finding a buried treasure!

This book offers a blueprint for successfully and easily conducting a systematic review. The authors present the material in a clear, relatable and comprehensible manner enabling even the novice student to navigate the sometimes murky waters of the review process. This book is a MUST in the arsenal of every masters and doctoral student conducting systematic reviews, and will likely be pulled from the bookshelf time and time again.

Jill Firtell
University of Bath

This is a must for students and researchers new to sistematic reviews. Writen in a very clear and accesible way. The road map is especially interesting.

Professor Catarina do Vale Brandão
Faculty of Psychology & Educ Science, University of Porto
October 20, 2021

Useful step by step guide for students doing a dissertation by systematic review. Tone of the chapters is encouraging so students feel that this is a task within their grasp. The book does not assume prior knowledge, rather it explains terms in plain english

Carol Williams
Institute of Nursing & Midwifery (Brighton), Brighton University
April 9, 2021

I really like how this book takes students step by step, in easy to understand language. Loved the Roadmap at the front!

Ms Diana Conroy
College of health and social care, Derby University
March 8, 2021

Beautifully written, very clear to follow. One of the best textbooks I have ever adopted.

Dr Tom Farrelly
Business & Social Studies, Tralee Institute of Technology
January 26, 2021

Very helpful for MA Education students undertaking primary research

Lyndsey Stanton
The Institute for Lifelong Learning, Sheffield University
July 28, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has a a negative impact on the opportunities for empirical data collection and as a result there has been a move to secondary data sets and systematic review of literature as the basis of Masters level dissertations. This book is invaluable for ensuring the students have the knowledge and understanding to make a reasonable attempt at systematic review within the constraints of Masters submission and assessment criteria.

Dr John Woollard
School of Education, Southampton University
July 15, 2020

This is a very readable and useful book for those students who wish to go into depth and focus on their systematic review. Therefore it will become recommended reading

Dr Anne Elliott
London Sport Institute, Middlesex University
March 23, 2020

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Angela Boland

Angela Boland has worked at LRiG (Liverpool Reviews and Implementation Group) since it was established in 2001 and has carried out many systematic reviews of both  clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of health care interventions. More About Author

Gemma Cherry

Gemma Cherry is Lecturer is Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Prior to training, she worked at LRiG for several years conducting systematic reviews. More About Author

Rumona Dickson

Rumona Dickson has been involved in the conduct of systematic reviews in health care for over 20 years and has been the Director of LRiG since 2001. More About Author