The contents of the guide are organized as follows:
The Institute of Medicine Standards for Systematic Reviews include the following requirement (Standard 3.1.1):
"Work with a librarian or other information specialist trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy"
The Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recommends that “[a] librarian or other expert searcher should be involved in the development of the search.”
Reference librarians trained in the systematic review process are available to assist with planning and conducting a review. Email the Reference Department or phone 718-430-3104 to set up an appointment.
A systematic review "is a scientific investigation that focuses on a specific question and uses explicit, prespecified scientific methods to identify, select, assess, and summarize the findings of similar but separate studies."(1)
A meta-analysis, "sometimes misused as a synonym for systematic reviews",(2) is "a quantitative statistical analysis of several separate but similar experiments or studies in order to test the pooled data for statistical significance".(3)
1 Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews, Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research, Institute of Medicine. National Academies Press, June 2011.
2 Cochrane Collaboration Glossary (http://www.cochrane.org/glossary).
3 Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com).
Requirements for doing a systematic review:
From the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at York University:
Systematic reviews aim to identify, evaluate and summarise the findings of all relevant individual studies, thereby making the available evidence more accessible to decisionmakers. When appropriate, combining the results of several studies gives a more reliable and precise estimate of an intervention’s effectiveness than one study alone. Systematic reviews adhere to a strict scientific design based on explicit, pre-specified and reproducible methods. Because of this, when carried out well, they provide reliable estimates about the effects of interventions so that conclusions are defensible. As well as setting out what we know about a particular intervention, systematic reviews can also demonstrate where knowledge is lacking. This can then be used to guide future research.(1)
1 Systematic Reviews: CRD's Guidance for Undertaking Systematic Reviews in Health Care, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, 2009. (http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/index_guidance.htm).