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Systematic Reviews: Methodology & Reporting

A systematic review should follow rigorous standards because the validity of a systematic review's conclusions directly depends on its methodological validity. Several important standards are listed below; these standards provide guidance on all aspects of the review. Following one of these standards should ensure the validity of your study design.

Guides & Standards

These four major guides will help with the process of conducting a systematic review:

Equator Network

The Equator Network (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparence Of health Research) contains a searchable database of reporting guidelines and also links to other resources relevant to research reporting.

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More Guides, Standards, Tools

  • MOOSE: Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology. Includes a proposed reporting checklist for authors, editors, and reviewers of meta-analyses of observational studies.
  • Risk of Bias in Systematic Reviews (ROBIS). The ROBIS tool is used to assess risk of bias in systematic reviews. It can be used by researchers to conduct a review of systematic reviews, or by those who want to avoid bias in their own systematic reviews.
  • AMSTAR, A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews.

SR Toobox

SR Toolbox is a searchable catalog of software tools that can be used to support the systematic review process. The SR Toolbox also includes checklists, guidelines and reporting standards.


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