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Health sciences and medicine

Creating a systematic or scoping review is a large project and may take many months to complete.

Searching for evidence happens towards the beginning of the project. The searching phase includes creating, testing, and refining a search strategy. A systematic search aims to be comprehensive and reproducible.

After the literature has been gathered, the next steps of the review, such as selecting studies and extracting, analysing and interpreting data, can progress.

The Library offers assistance with the searching phase and records management (such as using EndNote). Please get in touch with the HSM Faculty Librarian for assistance.


As topics and sources of evidence vary widely across disciplines, various approaches to searching exist. Some key publishers of systemic reviews have made guidelines available, listed below.

Registering a protocol

Reporting Guidelines

Example papers

Jackson, M., Kang, M., Furness, J., & Kemp-Smith, K. (2022). Aquatic exercise and mental health: A scoping review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine66, Article 102820.

Krzyzaniak, N., Forbes, C., Clark, J., Scott, A., Del Mar, C., & Bakhit, M. (Accepted Manuscript). Antibiotics versus no treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria in aged care residents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of General Practice, Article 0059.

Tang, X., Patterson, P., MacKenzie-Shalders, K., van Herwerden, L. A., Bishop, J., Rathbone, E., Honeyman, D., & Reidlinger, D. P. (2021). Workplace programmes for supporting breast-feeding: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Public Health Nutrition, 24(6), 1501–1513.

Systematic reviews