This guide will help you to undertake the literature search component of a systematic review. Further reading about systematic reviews in general and how to undertake them can be found in the Help and support tab of this guide. Having reviewed this guide you will be able to:
"Definitions of systematic reviews vary but high quality reviews usually aim to answer a research question by:
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, 2009. Systematic reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care [online]. York: University of York. Available from: https://www.york.ac.uk/media/crd/Systematic_Reviews.pdf [Accessed 20 September 2020].
"A well-designed systematic review includes...a thorough and reproducible search of the literature...“ (Harvard 2018)
This means that it may be a lengthy undertaking and you must be prepared to put time aside to do this. The literature search is a key component in a systematic review.
Harvard Library, 2018. Systematic Reviews and Meta Analysis: Systematic review Q&A: What is a systematic review? [online]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. Available from: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/meta-analysis/GettingStarted [Accessed 30 September 2020].
Before undertaking your literature search, you should consider using reference management software to:
Particular tasks where the software will help to save you a lot of time include:
Bournemouth University supports EndNote reference management software and the Bournemouth University referencing style (Bournemouth University Harvard) is available for the software. For more information look at the managing references section of this guide.
Please get in touch with the library if you are unsure about undertaking a literature search for a systematic review. It should be noted that searches of this kind are necessarily thorough, different to what you might have done before and a fundamental part of the research undertaking; it is worth talking it through with one of the librarians who support your faculty.