The research team will:
Note: the search should be repeated before the final analysis in order to capture literature that was published since the initial search. This helps to create an up-to-date systematic review that includes the most recent literature available.
Databases index journals and no single database includes all journals in a particular subject area. PubMed is a common starting point for health sciences reviews. You should use other database in addition to PubMed. Some of the more common databases are listed below. Check the A-Z list of databases for a complete list.
The term grey literature refers to all information that isn't commercially published. This can include the following types of documents:
Including grey literature in a systematic review can strengthen the overall product by minimizing publication bias. Although grey literature is rarely peer reviewed, all sources of information should undergo assessment before being included in the final analysis.
Please refer to our Grey Literature guide for more information:
Hand searching refers to reading through specific journal table of contents and selecting articles relevant to the research topic. This is an additional search strategy that can be used to capture literature that may have been missed by searching a journal article database.
While viewing an abstract in PubMed, hover your mouse over the journal abbreviation to view the full title.