Skip to main content

A Guide to Evidence Synthesis

About This Guide

About This Guide

This research guide provides an overview of the evidence synthesis process, guidance documents for conducting evidence synthesis projects, and links to resources to help you conduct a comprehensive and systematic search of the scholarly literature. Navigate the guide using the tabs on the left.

"Evidence synthesis" refers to any method of identifying, selecting, and combining results from multiple studies. A systematic review is a type of evidence synthesis

If you're affiliated with Cornell's Ithaca campus and would like to submit a request for help with your review, visit: 

Cornell University Library Evidence Synthesis Service

Note: Cornell University Library launched its Systematic Review Service in 2016 to meet a need for librarian support for systematic reviews and related methodologies.  As our program has evolved, we changed our service name in early 2020 to Evidence Synthesis Service to better reflect the breadth of methodologies that we support, including systematic reviews, scoping reviews, evidence gap maps, umbrella reviews, and others.

How the Library Can Help

How Librarians Can Help

The Institute of Medicine recommends that a librarian or information specialist be involved in the systematic review process.  In fact, this study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology shows that librarian involvement in systematic reviews improves both the quality and the reproducibility of the literature search.

Cornell's evidence synthesis service can help you:

  • Find existing evidence syntheses and protocols to inform your own protocol development.
  • Identify relevant databases and gray literature resources in which to conduct literature searches related to your topic.
  • Design and implement complex, comprehensive search strategies to maximize retrieval of relevant studies.
  • Create search alerts to ensure that new studies are found while the evidence synthesis is in progress.
  • Use citation management software, such as Endnote, Zotero, and Mendeley to manage the study gathering and selection process.
  • Track down hard-to-find full text articles for screening and review.
  • Write the methods section of your review for publication, to ensure clarity and transparency of the search process.