Skip to Main Content
University of Wollongong Australia

Systematic Review

How the Library can help when you're conducting a systematic review

Tools for your systematic review

Here are some examples of tools you can use to develop, document and report on your systematic review:


JBI SUMARI facilitates the entire review process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing your systematic review. This tool is developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI).

To set up a personal OVID account and access SUMARI as UOW staff or student, follow these instructions.


PROSPERO is an international register for prospective systematic literature reviews.

It includes protocol details for systematic reviews relevant to:

  • health and public health
  • social care and welfare
  • education
  • crime and justice
  • international development

Protocols can include any type of any study design where there is a health-related outcome.


PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

PICO framework

Use a framework like PICO when developing a good clinical research question:

Patient or problem Intervention Comparison Intervention Outcome
Describe the patient or group of patients of interest as accurately as possible What is the main intervention or therapy you'll consider? Is there an alternative treatment to compare?  What is the clinical outcome?


Rayyan is a free, online application used by researchers to assist with systematic review methodology and meta-analysis projects. Rayyan can be used for screening and selection of the literature. It can also be used in collaboration with your review team.

Further information can be found at Rayyan for Systematic Review - McGill University.


The SPIDER question format was adapted from the PICO tool to search for qualitative and mixed-methods research.  Questions based on this format identify the following concepts:

  1. Sample
  2. Phenomenon of Interest
  3. Design
  4. Evaluation
  5. Research type

Example: What are young parents’ experiences of attending antenatal education? 

young parents
P of I   antenatal education
D questionnaire, survey, interview, focus group, case study, or observational study
E experiences
R qualitative or mixed method






Search for (S AND P of I AND (D OR E) AND R) (Cooke, Smith, & Booth, 2012).

A-Z databases |  Library SEARCH |  Learning Co-Op

Opening hours |  Printing, copying & scanning |  Services for students |  Subject readings

Borrowing information |  Borrowing from other libraries |  Frequently Asked Questions |  Give feedback