Guides, Manuals, Standards for Conducting a Systematic Review

AMSTAR (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews)
Includes the AMSTAR checklist, an 11 point checklist to assess systematic reviews.

Cochrane Handbook
Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]
Contains methodological guidance for the preparation and maintenance of Cochrane Intervention reviews and Cochrane Overviews of reviews

CRD’s (Center for Reviews and Dissemination) guidance for undertaking reviews in health care

Equator Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines.

Institute of Medicine, Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews, 2011
Free full report available to read online or download.

Institute of Medicine, Report at a Glance, Standards for Systematic Reviews, 2011
Includes Standards for Initiating a Systematic Review, Standards for Finding and Assessing Individual Studies, Standards for Synthesizing the Body of Evidence and Standards for Reporting Systematic Reviews

Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, January 2014
Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHQR) guide for writing a comparative effectiveness review

PRISMA
“PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.”  The PRISMA statement contains a 27 item checklist which encompasses title, abstract, methods, results, discussion and funding.  The PRISMA statement also contains and a four-phase flow diagram that depicts the flow of information through the different phases of a systematic review including identification, screening, eligibility and studies included.  A PRISMA Flow Diagram Generator is available to help create your flow diagrams.

Systematic reviews to support evidence- based medicine: how to review and apply findings of healthcare research / Kalid Kahn… [et al.] 2nd ed.  London : Hodder Arnold, 2011.
(E-book at MCW Libraries)

A Primer on Performing Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses
Umscheid CA.  Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Sep;57(5):725-34. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit333.

Also consider guidelines from your own discipline.  Here is one example: Academy of Neurology Systematic Review and Guideline Development Process.

Consider where you are going to publish.  Does the publisher have specific requirements?  Check previously published systematic reviews published in that journal.

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
414-955-8296
Directions & Maps

Top