Introduction to Systematic Reviews


Stanford School of Medicine


This course is for members of the Stanford Medicine community. Valid Stanford login is required to acess some of the content in this course. This course was created to facilitate more meaningful consultations between librarians and Stanford Medicine community members interested in conducting systematic reviews. It opens with a definition of the necessary requirements for a systematic review and comparison between systematic review methodologies and those of other types of reviews.

There are multiple organizations that provide guidelines for successful completion of a systematic review and we provide an overview of these guidelines from the Cochrane Collaboration, the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine), and Joanna Briggs Institute. Next is a discussion of the importance of protocols for determining whether or not a systematic review on your topic of interest has already been completed. Tools for supporting an organized systematic review project are then highlighted, followed by a detailed review of how/why librarians collaborate on these reviews. In the final module, we highlight how you can search for systematic reviews in three major databases: PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL. Throughout the course are small assessments to reinforce concepts and encourage reflection.

What you will learn

  • Understand the definition of a systematic review and its distinguishing features as compared to other types of reviews
  • Know the different resource guidelines for conducting a systematic review
  • Understand the facets of question development
  • Introduction to software tools to facilitate the systematic review process
  • Be able to search for systematic reviews on a given topic in PubMed and EMBASE

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Delivery Option:
Online Course Free

This course may not currently be available to learners in some states and territories.