Different types of evidence syntheses
Information about different types of review articles and evidence syntheses.
There are many different types of review articles. Some are systematic, whilst others are not.
Systematic or non-systematic
What distinguishes a systematic review or evidence synthesis from a non-systematic one is a predefined, systematic, explicit, and replicable method. The purpose of most systematic reviews is to summarize all relevant studies that answer a clearly defined question.
We have chosen to use the term evidence synthesis. This includes all reviews which apply a systematic approach, such as systematic reviews and scoping reviews.
Descriptions and classification of different types of reviews
The article "Meeting the review family: exploring review types and associated information retrieval requirements" by Sutton et al. provides an introduction and overview of different types of review articles.
Sutton, Anthea, Clowes, Mark, Preston, Louise, & Booth, Andrew. (2019). Meeting the review family: exploring review types and associated information retrieval requirements. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 36(3), 202–222. https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12276. Access to full text for UiO users.
The last author of the article above, Andrew Booth, is also behind the 2018 webinar "Fifty Shades of Review".
Which type is right for you?
Are you unsure about what kind of review to write? You may find these tools useful.
Tool developed by the Knowledge Translation Program at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital in Canada. Fill in the form and get suggestions for types of reviews and links to methodology literature and other aids.
Flowchart from Cornell University Library in the USA.