Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ask a Librarian

Systematic Review Resources

Where Do I Find Studies to Include in a Systematic Review?

  • Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) is a database that covers nursing and allied health disciplines, including health administration. 
  • PubMed/ MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's biosciences database covering medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and preclinical sciences.  The Health Sciences Library provides access to PubMed and multiple MEDLINE interfaces. 
  • Web of Science (Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation Index) SCI covers medical and life sciences, and other sciences. SSCI includes economics, education, health sciences, social policy and social work.

NOTE: Logging in to the following databases through the Health Sciences Library Databases ensures you have access to the full text of articles, when available.

Some systematic review topics will be covered by subject specific databases.

Freely available databases such as AGRICOLA (agriculture, including animal sciences, human nutrition, environmental sciences and more); Basic Medical Sciences Databases; ERIC (education); PEDro (physiotherapy) and others may be appropriate depending on your topic. A database not available to affiliates of New York Medical College can be searched by a librarian through Dialog for associated fees. 

How Do I Conduct a Systematic Review?

  • Centre for Reviews and Dissemination Systematic Reviews: CRD's Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Health Care  provides practical guidance for undertaking systematic reviews evaluating the effects of health interventions.
  • Centre for Reviews and Dissemination PROSPERO the first open access online facility to prospectively register systematic reviews.
  • Cochrane Collaboration Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions  provides guidance to authors for the preparation of Cochrane Intervention reviews.
  • National Academies Press Finding What Works in Healthcare: Standards for Systematic Reviews 21 standards from the Institutes of Medicine for developing high-quality systematic reviews of comparative effectiveness research. 
  • PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The aim of the PRISMA Statement is to help authors improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
  • Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice Introduction to Systematic Reviews funded by the National Library of Medicine, EBBP creates training resources to help bridge the gap between behavioral health research and practice.

Tools for Screening and Selection


In your protocol you have already established the eligibility criteria for inclusion. In other words, what does the study need to look like in order to answer your research question? What is the population? Age? Time frame? Problem? Intervention?

Since you have cast a wide net and completed a rigorous search, you have many studies from which to choose. You will now use this criteria for screening and selecting.

Remember, screening and selection requires two or more reviewers to work independently from one another. This reduces any chance of bias.

Here are two tools that may help in this process:

Covidence logo


Covidence is a web based tool that streamlines your ability to screen, select, as well as extract the data from the selected studies for your systematic review. Outside of the free trial. Covidence is fee based. 


Rayyan QCRI

Rayyan is similar to Covidence but less costly. It too is a web-tool that dramatically speeds up the process of sorting, screening and selecting studies. Unlike Covidence it is free, but also unlike Covidence, Rayyan does not go beyond the selection process to the data extraction phase.