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Systematic Reviews: Resources

Books in the KCU Libraries Catalog

Cochrane Reviews

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is the leading journal and database for systematic reviews in healthcare. You can access the CDSR through the KCU Libraries database OVID by selecting EBM Reviews-Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 

Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews that are published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. In order to qualify, a systematic review must be completed using the Cochrane Reviews method as described in the Cocharane Handbook for Systematic Reviews and Interventions.

Types of Cochrane Reviews

  • Intervention reviews - look at benefits and harms of an intervention
  • Diagnostic test accuracy reviews - determine how well a diagnostic test is in diagnosis or detection of a disease
  • Methodology reviews - look at issues on how systematic reviews and clinical trials are conducted and reported
  • Qualitative reviews - evaluate the evidence to address questions and aspects of interventions other than their effectiveness
  • Prognosis reviews - look at the probable course or outcomes of people with a specific health concern

The Cochrane Public Health Group: Guide for developing a Cochrane protocol

Information gathered from: 

About Cochrane Reviews: Cochrane Library. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2020, from


PROSPERO is an international prospective register for systematic reviews. It is produced by CRD and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

Key features from a review protocol are recorded and maintained as part of the permanent record to provide a comprehensive list of systematic reviews to help avoid duplication and reduce reporting bias. 

PROSPERO accepts registrations for systematic reviews, rapid reviews, and umbrella reviews. They DO NOT accept scoping reviews or literature reviews. 


Rapid Review Guidebook

Its not uncommon for time to be an issue for researchers interested in doing an in depth review. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis are known for their lengthy processes. When time is a factor, a Rapid Review is sometimes completed instead. 

The Rapid Review Guidebook is a good place to start if you're interested in doing a rapid review. 

"This detailed guidebook provides helpful methods and tools for performing a rapid review. The resource describes the necessary steps for conducting a rapid review, from identifying the team and stakeholders to creating a logic model that outlines the structure of the final report. users often need rapid reviews when using evidence to inform policy and program decisions in an expedited manner. The guidance document provides helpful tips for conducting the reviews and provides tools to help the user complete each step of the process. The comprehensive guidebook aligns with the first five steps in the process of evidence-informed decision making promoted by the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools."


Rayyan QCRI is a free web application to help systematic review authors. Authors can create systematic reviews, collaborate on them, maintain them over time, and get suggestions for article inclusion. It is available online as well as through the Rayyan app and automatically syncs to Rayyan servers to store your work. 

If you chose to use Rayyan QCRI for your systematic review, please use the citation below to give credit:

Mourad Ouzzani, Hossam Hammady, Zbys Fedorowicz, and Ahmed Elmagarmid. Rayyan — a web and mobile app for systematic reviews. Systematic Reviews (2016) 5:210, DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0384-4.

Protocols for SRs

PRISMA and PRISMA-P are evidence based minimum sets of items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis. These are checklists and guides to help focus your research, but please note that using them does not automatically denote systematic review status of research. These are guides for research that can be used in a variety of different types of reviews.