Develop a search strategy

Develop a search strategy

Decide on how much and what type of information you need to:

  • develop exclusion and inclusion criteria, such as:
    • will you reject (exclude) certain types of interventions? If so,WHY?
    • will you reject studies with certain types of research design? If so, WHY?
    • will you reject studies with certain types of participants? If so,WHY?
  • decide on what databases you are going to use
  • decide on what your search terms will be but be flexible - these may change as you progress
  • sift through your search results and decide whether to keep or discard based on exclusion and inclusion criteria
  • keep a note of what you do - use our Literature search strategy template This is a word document so you can download and edit it.
  • you can then download the PRISMA flow chart and fill in the details using the information on your template

You can find more detailed information in our systematic reviewing pages

Creative Commons Licence
PILOT - Writing a critical review by Steve Draper, Glasgow University, Dr Jane McKay, GCU modified by Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at