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The University of Arizona

How to Conduct a Systematic Review

Step 1-Conducting a Systematic Review

1. Choose a topic

A. Make sure you can phrase your topic as an answerable question


B. Review the existing literature to see what has been done on your topic already


C. Decide which documents you will or will not include in your systematic review.

  • Inclusion criteria - characteristics articles must meet in order to be included in your systematic review  
    • Examples: prospective study design,  double-blinded, randomly assigned participants, etc.                                                                                                                                                                
  • Exclusion criteria - ​characteristics that will cause articles to be excluded from your systematic review 
    • Examples: study older than 10 years, publication in a language other than English, etc.