Skip to Main Content

Systematized review methods for SBS 402

Information about the methods used in systematic reviews that can be adapted for SBS capstone projects.


You will not be completing a full systematic review for your capstone, but rather borrowing some of its methods to complete a systematized review. This guide will provide some information on how to do so. 

Systematic and systematized reviews

It is important to understand the methodology of systematic reviews so that we can understand the ways in which we are and are not borrowing from it in our systematized reviews for capstone. Here are definitions of each review type from Grant & Booth (2009): 

Systematic Review

 "[A] systematic review seeks to systematically search for, appraise and synthesis research evidence...Systematic reviews seek to draw together all known knowledge on a topic area" (Grant & Booth, 2009, p. 102).

Systematized Review

"Systematized reviews attempt to include one or more elements of the systematic review process while stopping short of claiming that the resultant output is a systematic recognition that they are not able to draw upon the resources required for a full systematic review (such as two reviewers)...[S]uch a review necessarily falls short of being able to claim the comprehensiveness so fundamental to the systematic review method" (Grant & Booth, 2009, p. 102-3).

In your methods section, you can describe your method as a systematized review and cite Grant & Booth (2009) as having defined that term. Here is their article: 

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91–108. 

Meta-analysis and meta-synthesis

For some researchers, a systematic review is the first step toward completing a meta-analysis or meta-synthesis. We can again look to Grant and Booth (2009) for useful definitions of these methods. Note that "meta-synthesis" is the term we are using for what they describe as "qualitative evidence synthesis." 


"Technique that statistically combines the results of quantitative studies to provide a more precise effect of the results" (Grant & Booth, 2009, p. 94). 

Qualitative evidence synthesis (meta-synthesis):

"Method for integrating or comparing the findings from qualitative studies. It looks for ‘themes’ or ‘constructs’ that lie in or across individual qualitative studies" (Grant & Booth, 2009, p. 94).

"The goal of such a qualitative meta-synthesis is not aggregative in the sense of "adding studies together," as with a meta-analysis. On the contrary, it is interpretative in broadening understanding of a particular phenomenon" (Booth, 2006, p. 422). 


Booth A. (2006). “Brimful of STARLITE”: Toward standards for reporting literature searches. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 94(4), 421-429.

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91–108.

Overview of methods

This video provides an overview of the methods used in a systematic review, and covers how these are modified for a systematized review for your capstone. It also describes how your systematized review is different than your literature review. 


This timeline gives you an idea of what you need to work on each week to complete your systematized review by the deadline for the first draft of your capstone. You can make a copy of the timeline to your drive for easy access.