About Systematic Reviews

Why are Systematic Reviews Good

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Systematic reviews combine studies based on an eligibility criterion, assess the quality of studies, and analyze the findings from included studies to draw a conclusion.

If you are relying on scientific literature to make important decisions, you need to keep reassessing it to ensure it is up-to-date and in line with your current needs. This is particularly important when you are applying the research in fields such as healthcare, business, etc. Systematic reviews will help you evaluate the available evidence to make the right policies, create practical guidelines, and answer complex questions. This article offers you an understanding of the definition of a systematic review and its importance. If you want to learn more about the important steps to take in a systematic review, check out our article here.

What Are Systematic Reviews?

As mentioned above, systematic reviews are the evaluation of existing scientific literature to facilitate proper decision-making processes. They provide a methodical approach to reassessing important data included in articles, books, and other forms of literature for evidence synthesis. These reviews are normally done by researchers, scientists, data analysts, and other experts.

The main purpose of systematic reviews is to ensure there is legitimacy and reproducibility in your work. Since the evidence gathered has to be incontrovertible, you have to review large amounts of literature, which can be tedious and time-consuming. Although the duration of a complete systematic review depends on the scope of the review, most systematic reviews usually take between six to eighteen months.

For your work to be legitimate and reproducible, you need to take a pragmatic approach in your research methodology and ensure comprehensive documentation of the results. The review protocol which involves the research methodology should be appropriately developed and registered.  Accordingly, you’ll need a structured and reliable way of collecting evidence. Thankfully, many software tools are designed to make systematic reviews simple, accurate, and quick. These tools are designed to manage collaborations, screen literature, and report results.

Importance Of Systematic Reviews

Firstly, a systematic review of literature offers the necessary insight into important scholarly topics. It involves a survey of the available resources on a topic, and a critical examination of those sources to ensure they are credible and impactful in their respective fields. The process of conducting a systematic review primarily entails compiling all the available research (published and unpublished) on a specific topic of interest.

In summary, in a systematic review, after preliminary investigation, a review protocol is developed, the available studies are sought out and retrieved, they are subjected to an eligibility test and then quality appraisal using assessment criteria. They are then finally included in the analysis. Systematic reviews can be argumentative, collaborative, historical, theoretical, and procedural.

These reviews also offer an impartial assessment of each study, thus eliminating any element of contradiction in making the right decisions. Systematic reviews focus more on the available evidence, legitimacy, causality, and effect. Through sampling and data collection strategies, systematic reviews enable you to extract the necessary data on research design for gauging the strength of the available evidence.

The important question that many people ask is: How do you critically appraise a systematic review? Evaluating the traits of impact studies against the pre-defined eligibility criteria allows the possibility of making cross-study appraisals and meta-analyses. Based on this information, policies can be developed that are based on reliable data. Therefore, systematic reviews inspire you to engage analytically with complex information and to maintain consistency in highlighting empirical evidence rather than preconceived knowledge.

Lastly, systematic reviews of literature are effective in guiding you throughout critical decision-making processes and improving your procedural transparency. They’re also effective in allowing future replication. This is crucial if your systematic reviews are registered with international research networks. In short, systematic reviews produce a fairly impartial baseline against which future studies and evidence on particular interventions can be evaluated.

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