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Evidence Synthesis: Finding, appraising and synthesizing research

This guide provides an overview of evidence syntheses methods and points to resources to learn more about conducting the different steps of an evidence synthesis project.

About this guide

Image credit: Examining Clouds by Kate Ter Haar, via,, CC BY 2.0

This research guide provides an overview of the evidence synthesis, a set of research methods to find, synthesize and make sense of existing knowledge from research. This guide point to guidance documents for conducting evidence synthesis, and links to resources to help you conduct a comprehensive and systematic search of the scholarly literature.  Navigate the guide using the tabs to the left or the following links:
  • Getting Started:  This page defines a systematic review and how it differs from a traditional literature reviews.
  • Steps in evidence synthesis:  See this page for the steps involved in a systematic review, including guidance on registering a systematic review protocol.   
  • Methodology and Documentation:  There are many guiding documents available for systematic reviews in various discipline. This page provides links to resources for guidance and standards for systematic reviews.
  • Searching the published literature: To get you started on planning your systematic search of the literature, this page provides guidance for finding appropriate databases and conducting comprehensive searches.
  • Searching the gray literature:  This page provides guidance for approaching your search of the gray literature in a structure way, and links to sources where you can find things like dissertations and technical reports.
  • Managing the process:  Tools and guidance for managing a systematic review, including reference management and the screening process.
  • Finding systematic reviews: If you are looking for systematic reviews to guide your own practices, this page is for you. You'll find links to systematic review databases, and guidance to critically appraising systematic reviews.
  • Appraising the quality of research: