About Systematic Reviews

What is a Living Systematic Review?

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Systematic reviews can be exceptional tools in bringing together the research and literature regarding a topic. Since they can be used in a wide variety of industries, they can be effectively implemented in many sectors and job roles. There are several different types of systematic reviews, and they all have their own place and benefits.

In this article, we will look at what a living systematic review is, before moving on to list systematic review discussion examples and tips. Following that, we will offer systematic review guidelines, along with ideas of where to publish systematic review protocols. By the end of this blog, you will have a solid understanding of living systematic reviews and how they can be adapted to suit your purpose.

Living Systematic Review Definition

A living systematic review is a systematic review that is frequently and consistently revised with new updates. A systematic review, in general, is a review that incorporates and investigates selected studies on a topic or subject. The incorporation of a study is strictly defined by a chosen inclusion criteria, hence not all studies on the topic are included. Consequently, a living systematic review includes all new information, that meets the inclusion criteria, that pertains to the topic when it is published. By monitoring a research topic continually for new studies, this type of review always incorporates the most up-to-date information, which keeps it relevant.

Systematic Review Discussion Example

A systematic review discussion is written at the end of the review paper. It includes a summary of what the review has highlighted in general.

It will often go over any strengths and weaknesses that the review has, including those of the individual studies used to conduct the review. Going over strengths and weaknesses is a vital part of the discussion as it highlights any key considerations to the review itself which may have a bearing on the final results. It allows you to address any criticism towards the review, and state why your review still has merit. To do so, the author must discuss the weaknesses carefully to explain why the review is a significant read, despite them.

When it comes to living systematic review discussions, the discussion section will (and should), clearly identify the updates that have been incorporated into the historical review. By doing this, it quickly addresses any crucial comparisons or relevant data of significance in the field.

Finally, the discussion section should go over the results of the studies included in the review, while making sure not to simply repeat the results themselves. Instead, the discussion should be more about interpreting the results based on the ramifications of the findings within each study, and then the conclusion when all those studies are taken as a whole.

Systematic Review Guidelines

Structuring a living systematic review is essential so that it remains a persuasive piece of work. In general, when conducting a systematic review, it is required to include at least two studies. In combining research and studies for comparison, there is some value to be gained. By simply reviewing one study, you will lose the ability to compare findings and then argue a subsequent viewpoint.

Additionally, following guidelines also guarantees that your work is transparent, which adds to its legitimacy and makes it more compelling. PRISMA, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis, draws together a twenty-seven-point checklist that systematic reviews should meet. It has drawn up this checklist with the purpose of improving transparency, as it makes the end results far more useful.

The PRISMA checklist is a good way to structure your systematic review. But it is a lengthy procedure. Following twenty-seven steps to ensure that your review meets the standard level of quality is intense, but it is worth it to verify that your end report includes all that it should so that your findings can never be questioned.

In terms of where to publish your systematic review, that will depend on the sphere within which you are conducting a review. In medicine, medical journals may well be the best place to publish your work. In other sectors, leading publications in the industry that have a broad readership should be the target.

Living Systematic Reviews – Key Takeaways

Living systematic reviews are efficient tools that facilitate the compilation of studies, data, and research, all pulled together and kept up to date. When data is kept up to date, it makes the review, a source of truth that is reliable and trustworthy. The reader can then be sure that the information they are reading will help them gain a deeper understanding of the subject.

However, they are time-consuming, not to mention labor-intensive, and complicated. Using tools like DistillerSR can be highly effective in cutting down the administrative burden of conducting living systematic reviews. This will let you focus on adding value elsewhere.


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