Skip to Main Content

Knowledge Syntheses: A How-To Guide

Overview of systematic review steps and resources to assist researchers conducting reviews

Temporarily broken links

Broken link iconNote to users: Please be advised that after May 17th you may encounter some broken links on our Research Guides. These have occurred due to a library system migration, and we are working hard to repair these links quickly. In most cases, broken links will be links to books in Novanet. If you find a broken link, we recommend you copy the book title and paste it into the library search bar. If you are unable to access the book or have any other questions, please contact your Subject Librarian (contact info on this guide).

Before You Begin

There are many different types of reviews out there. Systematic reviews aren't the only kind you can do and they may not necessarily be right for your research needs. This guide covers a handful of review types in detail which include the following:

A Good Review Takes Time

Plan ahead. Systematic reviews normally take over a year to complete; be sure to allow ample time to produce the highest quality report possible.

Assemble a team. Systematic reviews are never produced independently, but rely on a team of experts working together.

Brush up on your search skills. Be sure to familiarize yourself with advanced searching techniques, especially in the most common health sciences databases.

Know what's required. For the purpose of transparency and reproducibility - the tenets of good science - your systematic review should adhere to guidelines on standards. For more information about these guidelines, click here.

Use The Knowledge Synthesis Readiness Checklist. Found below, it can also be used to help prepare for a knowledge synthesis project.

Guide acknowledgements

The current version of the Knowledge Synthesis Guide was redesigned by WK Kellogg Health Sciences Library intern, Vinson Li (2021). Content on the Guide is pulled from or inspired by a number of sources at other institutions and reused with permission. Links to the original sources are provided throughout.

Any original content on this guide may be reused or modified according to the following Creative Commons License: