USF Shimberg Health Sciences Library

Systematic Reviews

Select Studies

A large quantity of studies needs to be assessed at this stage of the review.  This process should involve at least two members of your group to help reduce bias.  It is useful to develop an appropriate form to help select and keep track of articles that meet eligibility criteria. To be included, a study must meet all eligibility/inclusion criteria and not meet any exclusion criteria. 

Employ the following process:

  1. Examine titles/abstracts
  2. Retrieve the full-text of relevant studies
  3. Examine the full-text to determine eligibility
  4. Make final decisions on study inclusion

Remember to document your decisions!  It is important to have a record of decisions made in order to ensure reproducibility and minimize errors.

This PRISMA flow diagram shows the number of studies/papers remaining at each stage. It's a simple and useful way of documenting the study selection process and should be included in your final report.