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Doing a Systematic Review or a Scoping Review: Home

Getting started

Too Many Systematic Reviews? Redundant and Zombie Reviews

Puljak, Livia, and Hans Lund. 2023. “Definition, Harms, and Prevention of Redundant Systematic Reviews.” Systematic Reviews 12 (1): 63.
Stern, Cindy, Sonia Hines, Jo Leonardi-Bee, Jason Slyer, Sally Wilson, Judith Carrier, Ning Wang, and Edoardo Aromataris. 2024. “Attack of Zombie Reviews? JBI Evidence Synthesis Editors Discuss the Commentary ‘Definition, Harms, and Prevention of Redundant Systematic Reviews.’” JBI Evidence Synthesis, February.



Getting started

Don't do a systematic review by yourself. 

PROSPERO and other searches for systematic reviews underway or completed

PRISMA statement (of methods) -- Especially see their checklist.

See Extensions on the PRISMA Statement, especially those for scoping reviews, for searching (for studies), and for equity.


Advice from libraries

UNC Chapel Hill



Advice from books and manuals

Aromataris, E., and Z. Munn. 2020. “JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis.” 2020.

Boland, Angela, M. G. Cherry, and R. Dickson, eds. 2017. Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide. SAGE.  ASU Main Stacks   LB2369 .D65 2017

Foster, Margaret J., Sarah T. Jewell, and Medical Library Association, eds. 2017. Assembling the Pieces of a Systematic Review: Guide for Librarians. Rowman & Littlefield.  ASU Main Stacks  R853.S94 A87 201

Foster, Margaret J., and Sarah T. Jewell, eds. 2022. Piecing Together Systematic Reviews and Other Evidence Syntheses: A Guide for Librarians. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.  eBook link.

Higgins, Julian P. T., James Thomas, Jacqueline Chandler, Miranda Cumpston, Tianjing Li, Matthew J. Page, Vivian A. Welch, and Cochrane Collaboration, eds. 2019. Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Second edition. . Wiley-Blackwell.  eBook link.

Tod, David. 2019. Conducting Systematic Reviews in Sport, Exercise, and Physical Activity. Springer Nature.  eBook link (only 1 user)

Zawacki-Richter, Olaf, Michael Kerres, Svenja Bedenlier, Melissa Bond, and Katja Buntins, eds. 2020. Systematic Reviews in Educational Research: Methodology, Perspectives and Application.  Springer Nature.  Open Access ebook.


Journals focusing on methods for evidence synthesis

But you'll find articles all over the place.  Make sure to spot those in journals you're targeting.

Research Synthesis Methods (Wiley)

Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods (Wiley)



A few examples of systematic reviews and scoping reviews

AppState examples:
Here is a search in Web of Science that finds most systematic reviews, and variations, with AppState researchers co-authors.  Several at the end are not systematic reviews and this will miss a few reviews in journals not include in WoS.
Fernandes M. de Sousa, Arilson, André R. Medeiros, Sebastián Del Rosso, Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen, and Daniel A. Boullosa. 2019. “The Influence of Exercise and Physical Fitness Status on Attention: A Systematic Review.” International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology 12 (1): 202–34.
Kabiri, Laura S., Ashley Messineo, Nikhil Gattu, Brian D. Ray, and Nicholas K. Iammarino. 2021. “Health-Related Physical Fitness and Activity in Homeschool: A Systematic Review With Implications for Return to Public School.” Journal of School Health 91 (11): 948–58.
Kolb, Simon, Alexander Burchartz, Doris Oriwol, Steffen C. E. Schmidt, Alexander Woll, and Claudia Niessner. 2021. “Indicators to Assess Physical Health of Children and Adolescents in Activity Research—A Scoping Review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18 (20): 10711.
Ruiz-Ariza, Alberto, Alberto Grao-Cruces, Nuno Eduardo Marques de Loureiro, and Emilio J. Martínez-López. 2017. “Influence of Physical Fitness on Cognitive and Academic Performance in Adolescents: A Systematic Review from 2005–2015.” International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology 10 (1): 108–33.
Santana, C. C. A., L. B. Azevedo, M. T. Cattuzzo, J. O. Hill, L. P. Andrade, and W. L. Prado. 2017. “Physical Fitness and Academic Performance in Youth: A Systematic Review.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 27 (6): 579–603.
St. Laurent, Christine W., Sarah Burkart, Chloe Andre, and Rebecca M.C. Spencer. 2021. “Physical Activity, Fitness, School Readiness, and Cognition in Early Childhood: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Physical Activity & Health 18 (8): 1004–13.


Need links to full text.  All but one of these are available at AppState or open.

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