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Systematic or Unsystematic, is that the Question? Some reflections on the science, art, and politics of reviewing research evidence

Martyn Hammersley: October 2002

Presented at the second meeting of the Public Health Evidence Steering Group, held on 18 October 2002.

'Systematic' is a word that, in most contexts, has a positive ring to it. Who would want reviews to be unsystematic, if by 'systematic' we mean no more than 'properly carried out, taking account of all the relevant evidence, and making reliable judgements about its validity and implications'? On this definition, to produce a systematic review is simply to do the job of reviewing well.

 

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.