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Systematic reviews: Select studies

Select which studies to include in your review

After you have conducted a comprehensive literature search and compiled a database of potentially useful studies, you now need to critically appraise the literature.  You need to draw up appropriate criteria to decide which studies to include or exclude from your review, based on an unbiased appraisal of their strengths and limitations. 

Cochrane Interactive Learning Resources

Modules 4-5 of Cochrane Interactive Learning have information on selecting studies, including how to assess the risk of bias. The Library is subscribing to Cochrane Interactive Learning.

Log in to Module 4: Cochrane Interactive Learning

How to select studies for inclusion, systematically collecting different data types that meet criteria.

Log in to Module 5: Cochrane Interactive Learning

What bias is, how to assess the risk of bias in randomised trials in different sources.

Critical appraisal of medical and health literature

The University of Exeter provides a short guide on how to critically appraise different types of medical and health literature.

Critical for medical and health sciences

Further resources