Definition to a Systematic Review is "a well synchronised and step by step analysis of many studies to derive an answer to the identified research question." As you are inclined to write a systematic review, it is important that you find an answer to a question that has been not answered in the most comprehensive and effective manner. In a simple way, you need to read lots of journal papers books, theses, official declarations, etc.,to bring an effective answer to a research question. This is more like any research paper, yet there is a simple deviation. In a systematic review paper you need to create a criteria for the selection of evidences that will support your answer/s. systematic review undergoes whole process of inclusion/exclusion of information. The purpose of considering a new criteria and the process of inclusion/exclusion is to avoid any kind of biased derivations. The objective remains strictly in relation with validity and reliability of the review.
In this article, we are going to find the way to – How to write a systematic review paper?
The approach will be structured under 10 effective steps that will add great research-based relevance to the review paper. The 10 most effective steps are noted below
Step 1: Identify a Research Field
Step 2: Generate a Research Question
Since, the systematic review is recognised as the peer-reviewed article, the reviewer should not aim to offer any new ideas or original report. The selected research question must remain connected to the former publication. However, the reviewer must understand that the review -
The process of creating protocol for a systematic review is a stage that comes when the reviewer is on the way of proposing or leading the research approach. It comes in a stage when the reviewer has not begun with the final process of extracting data. The scopes of the review paper must follow the guidelines suggested by the respective journal where you want your article to get published. Framework, approach and registration regulations must be followed within the determined protocol. The basic protocols to be noted are –
The reviewer must remain aware of the fact that the created protocol is subject to undergo the following process-
The process of evaluating former publications for a review paper is noted to be more critical than any other literature review. Kindly note that while evaluating the relevant literature always quote it with direct reference to the problem, instead of referring to the textbook. There is the need to remain critically absorbed in the selected literary works and experiments. It is therefore suggested that the team for peer-reviewed must have a senior experienced researcher.
The process of investigating the identified relevant literature begins with the efforts of evaluating each of them in this approach the reviewer needs to investigate all the sources. At every step the reviewer must remain focused in the Research Question. Any sort of deviation from the Research Question will make the paper tagged as invalid. As the points get collected the following aspects must be noted in particular-
In a review paper, the basic attempt is to collect data from existing sources and in specific relation with the research topic. The data collection process should be initiated with the aim of gaining answers to the Research Question. The process of data collection must adhere to the regulations set by the Protocol. The most common regulations instruct the reviewer to collect all the data from relevant sources. Every data must get extracted from specified study and in relation with the purpose of the article.
The collected data can be expressed in the form of tables and figures. Graphs are also accepted under the norms of Journal protocols.
Data extraction follows the stage after the modification of piloted phase of collecting data. Characteristics of data extraction must include clear declarations on methods considered for data collection, details about the participants and the intervention groups, and clear elaborative report on the attained outcomes. As such the extraction of the data for a systematic review paper must be maintained as per structured templates. The two very basic ways of extracting data are-
The critical analysis of the collected relevant data is the soul of the systematic review paper. At this stage the reviewer needs to remain completely focussed in delivering the most critically acclaimed evaluations and elaborations. It is suggested that the reviewer can consider creating tables, figures and graphs for comprehensive knowledge about the review. The process of critical analysis of the data must remain heterogeneous in nature and without any biases. Every declarations should be supported by logic and reasoning. Running the means of meta-analysis is very effective in generating valid and authentic results to the process of evaluating the collected data.
The reviewer can also enlist the points that are not included in the study, for advanced research works in the future.
The process of writing a systematic review paper must follow the norms of being an interpretive approach of derivations. The collected data needs to get synchronised in accordance to specific declarations made through - hypothesis, research rationale and adapted methodological process. The reviewer must declare the limitations as well as the biases in the paper. Explanations related to the identified strength, empirical approaches, practical applicability, effects on sociological/ scientific/ or economic domains must get expressed clearly. In a way, the reviewer must be also to offer a vision to the future analytical practices led by the current review.
This is a stage where the reviewer needs to check and recheck the paper. The reviewer must offer systematically structured conclusion to the paper. Offering answer to the research question is the most important task to be met.
To avoid rejection from publication by the editors of the Journal, all kinds of necessary inclusion and exclusions must get double checked. The protocol must be rechecked at every stage.
The ultimate checklist before the submission of a systematic review paper has been provided here for quick look-