Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Literature Reviews in Medicine and Health

Overview of types of literature reviews

Campbell Collaboration

The Campbell Collaboration "promotes social and economic change thought the production and use of systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis for evidence-based policy and practice"."

A methods links page connects users with useful tools and portals for conducting systematic reviews.

Cochrane Collaboration

Cochrane Handbook Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) 

  • search Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central
  • search specialist databases
  • search for different types of evidence
  • search trials registers
  • search for gray literature
  • search within other reviews
  • search with reference lists
  • search by contacting relevant individuals and organizations

Joanna Briggs

JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis
The JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis is designed to provide authors with a comprehensive guide to conducting JBI systematic reviews. It describes in detail the process of planning, undertaking and writing up a systematic review using JBI methods.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine

Health and Medicine Division - Standards for Systematic Reviews

These standards are for systematic reviews of comparative effectiveness research of therapeutic medical or surgical interventions.

Standards for Initiating a Systematic Review
Standards for Finding and Assessing Individual Studies
Standards for Synthesizing the Body of Evidence
Standards for Reporting Systematic Reviews


Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies (PRESS)


PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.


AMSTAR 2 Checklist

a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or nonrandomised studies of healthcare interventions, or both

Shea BJ, Reeves BC, Wells G, Thuku M, Hamel C, Moran J, Moher D, Tugwell P, Welch V, Kristjansson E, Henry DA. AMSTAR 2: a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or non-randomised studies of healthcare interventions, or both. BMJ. 2017 Sep 21;358:j4008.


RAMESES (Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards) Project

  • RAMESES I - developed quality and publication standards and training materials for realist reviews and the related approach of meta-narrative reviews.
  • REAMESE II - developed quality and reporting standards and resources and training materials for realist evaluation.