Skip to main content

Systematic Reviews: Home

This guide will help you get started with your next systematic review.

What is a Systematic Review?

A Systematic Review "attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question.  It uses explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view to minimizing bias, thus providing more reliable findings from which conclusions can be drawn and decisions made."*

*Higgins, JPT, Green S (Editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Version 5.1.0 [Updated March 2011]. Section 1.2.2. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011. 

PICO or PECO= the framework used to formulate the research question that is answered by a systematic review

P = Patient or problem

I = Intervention

C = Comparison (if appropriate)

O = Outcome


P = Patient or problem

E = Exposure

C = Comparison (if appropriate)

O = Outcome

Recently Published Systematic Reviews


Did you know the library can help you with your systematic review?

Systematic Reviews vs. Narrative Reviews

Systematic Reviews

  • Are rigorous research studies

  • Require a clearly defined clinical question, with established inclusion and exclusion criteria 

  • Require an investigative team (3 person minimum)

  • Require a study protocol

  • Require a significant time investment (approx. 12 months)

Narrative Reviews

  • Are summaries of research

  • Lack explicit descriptions of systematic method

  • Evidence is often incomplete

  • Relevance and validity of studies is often not explicit

  • Tend to provide a wider view of a topic by a subject “expert”


Meet your Systematic Review Librarian: Stephanie Roth

Photo of the systematic review librarian Stephanie Roth at the Temple University Health Sciences Library.

Stephanie Roth is an experienced biomedical and health sciences systematic review researcher and librarian and has designed instruction and training on conducting systematic reviews for students and faculty.  She implemented the Systematic Review Service at the Ginsburg Health Sciences Library at Temple University and she has expanded the services and offerings around systematic review research.  You may schedule an appointment with Stephanie Roth by contacting her at (215) 707-9469 or by email at