Survey existing research

When you start your systematic review, you’ll conduct a very comprehensive search of research related to your topic. But for now, you just want to gather a general sense of how your topic has been studied and if there’s enough evidence for a full scale review.

To do this, conduct searches in electronic databases related to your area of interest. In addition to the databases mentioned in our previous section on searching for systematic reviews, here are a few other resources to try:

PubMed will give you a good sense of the existing biomedical literature about your topic.

Google Scholar is a free, user friendly search engine for finding peer reviewed, scientific materials and a good source for the full text of some articles.