In this type of research, the problem or phenomenon is not directly observed but rather the works that focus on that question.
A systematic review is a scientific study, mainly used in health science disciplines, to collect and summarize all known information about a certain problem or question. This study is performed after a defined structured question has been posed and a research protocol has been previously established.
This review aims to reinforce an investigation so the study thread can be followed, answering the question convincingly. They allow the reader to corroborate it using a thoroughly reviewed bibliography. A systematic review is usually written by academics or writers from the top essay writer service, like Essaywriter.org.
While searching for evidence, applying a series of pre-established selection criteria is essential, critically evaluating which articles should be included and establishing a hierarchical order, from the most important to the least relevant. The synthesis of the information gathered should be carried out based on a well-structured methodology.
The review process should be carried out carefully, paying attention to every detail to reduce bias and ensure that all the answers obtained are objective. In this type of research, the problem or phenomenon is not directly observed but rather the works that focus on that question.
- Systematic reviews requirements
- Stages of the systematic review
- Structure of a TFG carried out with a systematic review
- Types of systematic reviews
- Examples of systematic reviews
- Do you need help with the systematic review for your dissertation?
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Systematic reviews must meet a series of requirements
- The research must have a well-structured and reproducible methodology.
- The search for articles must be systematic and specialized in the central theme of the study.
- The objectives of the research and synthesis must be clearly stated.
- The findings obtained in the selected studies must be corroborated.
- Within the study, the answer to the question that conditions the review should be clearly evidenced.
- Evidence summaries are made so that the researchers who come to the systematic reviews of a certain topic do not waste time going to a study of studies that is not the indicated one. These are short and concise documents in which the findings obtained are presented.
Stages of the systematic review
When proceeding with the systematic review of your dissertation, it would be helpful to clearly establish the steps you need to follow. For this purpose, they are usually as follows:
Formulate the question: it should be framed within the 4 basic elements that are compiled in the PICO question. You have to assess whether the question has already been addressed recently in the sense you intend to address it and whether the answer given closes the issue or has weaknesses.
Select the selection criteria: you must establish the characteristics and evaluation criteria that will define whether a specific article is reliable and suitable to answer your question.
Plan and define the methodology: you must design a research protocol. That is, you have to establish the plan to study the problem, with aspects such as the objectives of your project, the tools applied to the analysis of the individual results of each study and the possible scopes of the research.
Collect the studies: you should perform a bibliographic search in order to collect the articles in which different facets of the question you intend to answer are studied in depth. The aim is to select all the articles relevant to your study. In this step, you can use online databases such as Proquest, Google Scholar, Scopus, Dialnet or Elsevier.
Select the definitive studies: you must make a systematic selection, first filtering according to their titles and abstracts, excluding some of the pre-selected ones. This is followed by the most exhaustive step, that of reviewing the full articles to select the most relevant ones. Throughout this process, keep a detailed record of each article reviewed, excluded or selected.
Gather the data: you can use a data extraction form. At this point, we suggest consulting the handbook of Cochrane, an independent international network of researchers and other health essentials. This organization offers forms that would be very helpful.
Analyze and present the data: the findings of the studies in your systematic review should be organized in a summary table, with accurate data. The most common way of presenting the data is by means of an effects diagram, by which the amount of information and the reliability of each of the articles will be established. At this point, meta-analysis can be applied to resolve a question.
Conclusions: at this point, the criterion of the researcher who prepares the systematic review comes into play. From the data collected and analyzed, it is clearly established to what extent the results answer the specific question that has been posed.
Structure of a dissertation using a systematic review
Suppose you are required to apply a systematic review to your bachelor's or master's thesis. In that case, you should bear in mind that the process for carrying out the work will be more complex, longer and, in addition, will have some aspects that vary from those projects prepared using other methodologies.
The parts that make up the structure of a dissertation prepared with a systematic review are as follows:
Title: this is a very brief description of the work, in which it is clear in a few words what will be found in the study.
Introduction: an introduction aims to provide readers with a general overview of the work, but sufficiently detailed to provide a clear frame of reference. A literature review should be conducted and the background of the study, classifications and relevant definitions should be established.
Methodology: this step should include both the methodology applied to the review of the articles and the previous selection, data collection methods, data analysis, among other aspects of the work.
Results: for this part, the studies found and selected should be cited. Subsequently, a descriptive summary of the findings evidenced during the review should be made.
Conclusion: these are the researcher's approach to the articles studied in relation to the initial question or the objectives of the work. All conclusions must be well founded and the text must be written clearly and directly.
Bibliography: in this section credits should be given to all the authors of the articles collected, under official style regulations, such as the APA or Vancouver norms.
Annexes: this final section should include graphs and tables that support the work. It is important that this material does not have the purpose of contributing new ideas, beyond those already present in the study.
Types of systematic reviews
There are two types of systematic reviews, as a general classification. These are qualitative reviews and quantitative reviews.
Qualitative systematic reviews are those that present the evidence without statistical analysis, but rather in a descriptive manner.
Quantitative systematic reviews, on the other hand, are those that present the evidence by using statistical techniques to establish a numerical relationship between the results and thus establish a point estimate. The latter are those that establish the link between systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Systematic reviews are studies that require a lot of work, attention to detail and experience, but we hope that you're going to go great!