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This guide provides a starting point for students conducting a systematic review. As the approach to conducting reviews varies between disciplines, Bond's Faculty LIbrarians have compiled discipline-specific resources, listed within this guide.

Please book an appointment with your Faculty Librarian for guidance on searching for literature and managing the records within a review project.

What is a systematic review?

Systematic reviews seek to collate evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question. They aim to minimize bias by using explicit, systematic methods documented in advance with a protocol. -- Chandler et al., 2022

General steps in creating a review


The steps within a review follow this general order:Define the review question, identify the inclusion and exclusion criteria, develop and execute an extensive search, apply the inclusion and exclusion criteria (screening), extract data, assess quality, analyse data, and interpret and discuss findings.

General introductory books

General introductory articles

Article iconElliott, J. H., Synnot, A., Turner, T., Simmonds, M., Akl, E. A., McDonald, S., Salanti, G., Meerpohl, J., MacLehose, H., Hilton, J., Tovey, D., Shemilt, I., Hilton, J., Akl, E., Pestridge, C., Horsley, T., Armstrong, R., Plovnick, R., Arno, A., … Bagg, M. (2017). Living systematic review: 1. Introduction—the why, what, when, and how. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 91, 23–30.

Article iconHarris, J. D., Quatman, C. E., Manring, M. M., Siston, R. A., & Flanigan, D. C. (2014). How to write a systematic review. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(11), 2761–2768.


article iconLeite, D. F. B., Padilha, M. A. S., & Cecatti, J. G. (2019). Approaching literature review for academic purposes: The literature review checklist. Clinics, 74, e1403–e1403.


News iconPoklepović Peričić, T., & Tanveer, S. (2019). Why systematic reviews matter: A brief history, overview and practical guide for authors. Elsevier Connect.


Chandler, J., Cumpston, M., Thomas, J., Higgins, J.P.T., Deeks, J. J., & Clarke, M. J. Chapter I: Introduction. In: Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 6.3 (updated February 2022). Cochrane, 2022. Available from

Systematic reviews