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Systematic Reviews: Other types of reviews

Searching the literature but not doing a systematic review?

Consider other types of review. Temple University has a good guide


  • Grant, M.J. and Booth, A. (2009) 'A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies', Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), pp. 91-108. Available at:
  • Greenhalgh, T., Thorne, S. and Malterud, K. (2018) 'Time to challenge the spurious hierarchy of systematic over narrative reviews?', European  Journal of Clinical Investigation, 48(6), p. e12931. Available at:
  • Sutton, A. et al. (2019) 'Meeting the review family: exploring review types and associated information retrieval requirements', Health Information & Libraries Journal, 36(3), pp. 202-222. Available at:

Rapid reviews

Reading to support the rapid review methodology...

Realist reviews

Some resources to support the realist review search process...

  • YouTube video - Realist and Realistic! Searching: Where do I start and how far do I go? Dr Andrew Booth, ScHARR

Journal articles

  • Booth, A., Briscoe, S. and Wright, J.M. (2020) 'The "realist search": A systematic scoping review of current practice and reporting', Research Synthesis Methods, 11(1), pp. 14-35. Available at:
  • Wong, G. et al. (2016) 'RAMESES II reporting standards for realist evaluations', BMC Medicine, 14(1), p. 96. Available at:
  • Duddy, C. and Roberts, N. (2022) 'Identifying evidence for five realist reviews in primary health care: A comparison of search methods', Res Synth Methods, 13(2), pp. 190-203. doi: 10.1002/jrsm.1523. Available at:

Scoping reviews

A scoping review is not a systematic review. They are different types of review but have similar methodologies. See...

Munn, Z. et al. (2018) 'Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach', BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18(1), p. 143. Available at:

There is a useful tool called, Right Review that helps you decide what type of review would be most useful for you, see 

There is a reporting tool for Scoping reviews PRISMA- ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews) and the JBI (Joanna Briggs Institute) have recently updated their methodology for scoping reviews to bring them into line with PRISMA-ScR.

Peters, M.D.J. et al. (2020) 'Updated methodological guidance for the conduct of scoping reviews', JBI Evidence Synthesis, 18(10), pp. 2119-2126. Available at:
See also the Joann Briggs Institute scoping review resources