Western Libraries

Knowledge Synthesis: Systematic & Scoping Reviews

Writing up your review

Writing your manuscript actually starts much earlier! The majority of what you put into your review protocol can be used to jumpstart your article. This is part of why a high-quality protocol is so important. Below are important considerations:

  • Are you using a reporting guideline? PRISMA is a common reporting standard for systematic reviews, but there are others. Make sure to check your preferred journal's submission guidelines to see what their standards are for systematic reviews
  • Check your protocol! Your protocol should include much of your introduction and a significant portion of your methods section
  • Make sure you include all team members in your manuscript, especially your librarian! If someone is listed as an author on your paper, they deserve the opportunity to review and contribute to the paper
  • Don't forget your search(es) - your librarian will provide a copy of all fully reproducible search strategies for you to include in your article's supplementary material

(Courtesy of Duke University)

The Cochrane Handbook has guidance about how to write up your systematic review.  

You might also want to look at the PRISMA statement which includes a checklist for reporting your systematic review and a flow diagram to use when recording your search strategy within your report. There is also a PRISMA flow chart generator to help you create a flow chart to document your search. 

The Equator Network has reporting guidelines for many study types.