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Literature Reviews: systematic searching at various levels

This guide briefly looks at some of the different types of reviews to help you determine what kind of review you actually need to do and where to start

PRISMA Flow Diagram

The PRISMA Flow Diagram is a tool that can be used to record different stages of the literature search process--across multiple resources--and clearly show how a researcher went from, 'These are the databases I searched for my terms', to, 'These are the papers I'm going to talk about'.

PRISMA is not inflexible; it can be modified to suit the research needs of different people and, indeed, if you did a Google images search for the flow diagram you would see many different versions of the diagram being used. It's a good idea to have a look at a couple of those examples, and also to have a look at a couple of the articles on the PRISMA website to see how it has--and can--be used.

There is also a PowerPoint version of the document but the file size is too large to upload here.

If you would like a copy, please email the Academic Librarians' mailbox from your university account to ask for it to be sent to you.

Thank you.

Start using the flow diagram as you start searching the databases you've decided upon. 

Make sure that you record the number of results that you found per database (before removing any duplicates) as per the filled in example. You can also do a Google images search for the PRISMA flow diagram to see the different ways in which people have used them to express their search processes.