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This page contains guidelines for how to conduct a systematic review in Criminology. This includes formal guidelines, protocol development and registration information, reporting standards, search construction and analysis, critical appraisal as well as recommended method books, chapters and papers.

For database and search translation advice, please see the following Library Research Guides: 



Handbooks are comprehensive guides to conducting a systematic review from protocol development to reporting the results. 


Protocol development and registration

A review protocol defines the scope of a systematic review including the research question/s, populations, settings and outcomes. The search strategy for retrieving papers is also outlined in the protocol. Register your systematic review protocol to ensure your topic is not duplicated unknowingly by another researcher.  


Reporting standards

Reporting standards aim to improve the standards of reporting in evidence synthesis. Utilising reporting standards will ensure all the relevant methodological information is included for the peer-review process.

Search construction and analysis

Learn how to develop a database search that retrieves all the published literature on a research topic.

Critical appraisal

Critical appraisal tools are frameworks used to evaluate the quality of studies included in your review. Decide how you will critically appraise the studies before you begin your review, and use them to inform the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Methods books, chapters and papers

A selection of books, book chapters and research papers on systematic review methods in Criminology.

Systematic reviews