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Systematic Reviews: A How-To Guide

Overview of systematic review steps and resources to assist researchers conducting reviews

A. Screen Your Results

Screen Your Results

There are three stages in the screening process:

  1. Pre-screening: Record the numbers of results from your search before screening commences
  2. Title/Abstract screening: Go through the titles and abstracts of your results, removing any records which clearly do not meet your inclusion criteria. Don't be too strict in defining what meets your criteria at this stage as titles and abstracts offer only limited information.
  3. Full text screening:  Obtain the full text of all studies which you have left. These should then be screened closely to see if they meet your criteria.

You should keep a record of any studies you have excluded as you may need to give some details about these in the methodology section of a thesis and results section of a systematic review.


Adapted and modified with gratitude from City University of London's Doing Post Graduate Research research guide.

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