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Systematic Review & Evidence Synthesis Information Guide (UAHSL-Tucson)


This guide contains information and resources that may be helpful if you are planning to do a systematic review or scoping review.


Students, staff, and faculty with primary appointments at the University of Arizona in College of Medicine-Tucson, College of Nursing, R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness as well as Banner UMC-Tucson Residents and Fellows are eligible for support from HSL librarians.

Contact a Librarian

Students and faculty in COM-Phoenix should contact staff at the Phoenix Biomedical Library.  Students and faculty in UA colleges outside of the designated Health Sciences ones listed above should contact Elizabeth Kline at

Time to Complete a Review

Evidence syntheses projects (including systematic and scoping reviews) are labor intensive.  

Writing the systematic review protocol may take 2-6 months and completing and writing a systematic review may take 1-2 years.( Cochrane Collaboration, Cochrane Community, Review Production. Time and Commitment.)  

A study of registered systematic review protocols found that the mean time taken to complete a systematic review was 1.5 years. (Borah, R., Brown, A., Capers, P., & Kaiser, K. (2017). Analysis of the time and workers needed to conduct systematic reviews of medical interventions using data from the PROSPERO registry. BMJ Open, 7(2), E012545.)

A study on scoping reviews found a mean time of 5.2 months to complete a scoping review, while the high of the range was over 1.5 years.  (Pham, M., Rajić, A., Greig, J., Sargeant, J., Papadopoulos, A., & McEwen, S. (2014). A scoping review of scoping reviews: Advancing the approach and enhancing the consistency. Research Synthesis Methods, 5(4), 371-385.)

Organizing a Review Team

It takes a team to complete a review.  Learn more about who should be on the team for systematic reviews: National Academies Recommended Standards for Organizing the Review Team.