Skip to Main Content

Conducting a Literature Review

What is a Systematic Review?

Systematic Reviews (SR) are highly structured explorations of literature on a narrowly defined question or perspective. Their goal is to provide measurable answers concerning treatment, policy or intervention in the clinical setting or at the public policy level

Key characteristics:

  • a clearly defined research question and protocol (research plan)
  • inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • a rigorous and systematic search of the literature
  • critical appraisal and bias assessment of all included studies
  • analysis and interpretation of results
  • an in-depth report

Systematic reviews are undertaken by a research team, not an individual.  The team approach facilitates rapid reviewing and reduces bias.


Are a subset of systematic reviews, a statistical technique for combining the findings from quantitative studies to come up with new statistical conclusions.
  • Not all systematic reviews include meta-analysis, but all meta-analyses are found in systematic reviews.
  • Systematic Reviews with meta-analysis are statistically more robust than the analysis of a single study, as they look at more subjects, have excellent subject diversity and have more effects and results to consider
  • All included studies must be sufficiently similar for a meta-analysis to be valid.

American University of Beirut A Guide to Conducting Reviews: Meta-Analysis

Finding Systematic Reviews in the Library

The library provides access to many relevant systematic reviews from a range of publishers and organizations that will cost the American Sentinel student nothing more than their time and effort to access.

Program Resources
Research Aids
College Services

A-Z List of Databases

Business Plans & Case Studies

DNP Project Digital Repository

Faculty Resources

How to Access Other Libraries

Library Homepage 

Mobile Apps 


News & Current Events

Reference Service Policy


Video Tutorials

Black History & Culture

Clinical Practice Guidelines

DNP Research Support

Evidence Based Practice

Florence Nightingale Resources

General Education

History of Nursing 

Literature Reviews

MBA Healthcare

Nursing Classification

Nursing Programs

Nursing Theory



APA Style Writing & Citation

ChatGPT & OpenAI

Copyright & Fair Use

COVID-19 Resources

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resources

ESL Resources

Evaluating Online Sources

Legal Resources for Healthcare

Maps and Data Sets 

Research Tips & Techniques

Research Tools & Instruments 

Statistics & Data Sets

Student Success in Online Learning

Understanding Scholarly Research


Code of Conduct

Financial Literacy


Post University Blog

Student Center

Student Services

Writing Center