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Conducting a Literature Review for the Social Sciences

What is Evidence-based Literature?

  • Evidence-based literature often has the "good housekeeping seal"
  • Systematic reviews, meta-analysis, RCTs, guidelines, etc. are considered evidence-based.  These documents are often available in databases where the information has been already filtered (e.g. Cochrane Library)
  • Helpful in locating the best interventions, programs, etc.
  • Evidence-based practice is "a problem-solving approach to clinical practice that integrates appraisal of the most relevant scientific evidence to answer a clinical question, one’s own clinical experience, and client preferences and values." 

Evidence-based Resources

Searching the Evidence-Based Literature

To locate evidence-based literature on your topic, consider

  • adding these keywords to your search:
    • ("systematic review" OR meta-analysis")
  • Limit your search to systematic reviews, meta-analysis, etc.  Limiting options will vary by database.

Levels of Evidence in the Literature

Pyramid of Evidence-Based Practice used in classifying levels of literature. The highest levels help in identifying the most effective interventions/treatment when answering research questions.