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Systematic Reviews

Learn about conducting systematic reviews

Documenting Your Search Process & Results

Systematic Review guidelines require you to extensively document your search results, the number of studies that you include/ exclude and why, and the number of studies used in your review.

Citation management tools are highly recommended to facilitate this process. 

Documentation Templates

Documentation Requirements

Throughout the search, screening and selection process, you will track:

  • Each database and platform (PsycINFO; PubMed; LILACS, etc) searched
  • Date each search was conducted
  • Subject headings and keywords used (including whether terms were exploded, truncated, etc)
  • Search history, including combination of terms
  • Number of results retrieved for each search and combination within each database
  • Total number of records
  • Duplicates identified
  • Numbers pre-screening and post-screening

All searches conducted via hand-searching must identify the source (journal, conference proceedings, etc,) plus the years searched.

From UC Davis Systematic Reviews guide.

Documenting Citation Thinning & Deduplication

EndNote – Systematic Review Eliminating Citations (14:10) 

This video demonstrates using a Word document alongside EndNote to demonstrate the procedures for organizing results into groups, documenting searches/ number of results, and the process for thinning and deduplicating your results. 

This process can be replicated using a spreadsheet and your preferred citation management tool.