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Library Services



Systematic reviews

Support for systematic reviews from UCL Library Services

UCL Library Services provide training and support for systematic reviews to UCL staff and students and staff from UCL's affiliated NHS Trusts.

Where a systematic review is part of an assessed piece of work, we can provide training and guidance but cannot undertake any aspect of the review on your behalf, including contributing to developing your search strategy.

In some circumstances, subject to service capacity and availability of librarians with relevant experience, we may be able to carry out aspects of the systematic review process to contribute to your systematic review, such as carrying out literature searches. 

Areas where we may be able to provide advice, support & training include:

  • scoping literature searches;
  • developing search strategies;
  • using methodological search filters (if applicable);
  • selecting databases;
  • identifying grey literature and on-going research;
  • managing references;
  • setting up search alerts;
  • reporting search methodology.

How extensive is my systematic review?

The term 'systematic review' is often used quite broadly to represent various types of review at differing levels. There are practical limitations in undertaking a systematic review, for example, if you are undertaking a systematic review for a piece of coursework, a PhD theses, or a commissioned systematic review by a funder, the purpose, time, and number of researchers working on the review will vary. It is still possible to utilise the main principles of systematic review methods though the extent they are applied will vary. You should consider the extent of the systematic review you are carrying out in order to inform your methodology and seek appropriate support.

Contact us to find out about the level of support UCL Library Services can provide depending on the nature and extent of your systematic review.