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Systematic Reviews

Resources for planning and conducting a Systematic Review of the literature.


Here are some of the available databases at Scott Library--freely accessible or subscription based--to use in Systematic Reviews. Systematic reviews draw upon a vast body of knowledge and will generally consist of searching multiple databases. Selection depends upon database coverage of the research topic.. 

Jefferson does not subscribe to EMBASE, a widely recommended database for systematic reviewers. Consider asking your co-investigators if they have access or purchasing an individual subscription.

PubMed or Ovid MEDLINE?

One of the most frequent questions we get is whether to search PubMed or Ovid MEDLINE (or both). Both interfaces search the MEDLINE database, but differences in search functionality and content will result in slightly different results. Therefore it is important to specify which you used in your methods section.  A common approach is to choose Ovid MEDLINE for its superior features (especially adjacency searching), and then supplement it with a PubMed search for new articles by combining (your subject strategy) AND publisher[sb].

Grey Literature

What is grey literature?

"That which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers." (from: The Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature (GL '99) in Washington, DC, in October 1999)