Systematic reviews

A systematic review is a literature search carried out in a structured manner. This type of research is common in Medicine, but for instance also in the Social Sciences.

A systematic review answers a central question by summarising (all) relevant studies, leading to a better grasp of the subject matter.

Systematic literature search

A structured search for the right sources is an important part of a systematic review. The search strategy must be comprehensible and reproduceable; therefore clear reporting is essential. Regardless of the type of systematic review, the search strategy is always crucial.

Not sure where to start? The online training course Compass+: Systematically searching for literature shows you step by step what is involved in setting up and executing a systematic database search.


In a meta-analysis, the systematic review is followed by a statistical analysis of the results from the studies used. Meta-analyses are particularly popular in the evidence-based sciences.

Systematic review training & workshops

Utrecht University Library experts can give workshops at your department and provide customised advice on systematic reviews.

ASReview: Active Learning for Systematic Reviews

A team of researchers from Utrecht University, in collaboration with the University Library and Information and Technology Services, is developing the ASReview tool. The aim of this tool is to speed up the screening of literature during a Systematic Review using Active Learning.

Read more and try out the beta version of ASReview

Get in touch

Are you interested in a workshop on systematic reviews or do you have specific questions? Send an email to the university library.

Get in touch with us about systematic reviews