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Knowledge Synthesis

This guide includes content about systematic reviews, including general information and information about librarian assistance

What is a living systematic review?

"Living systematic review" (LSR) is an approach that aims to continually update a review, incorporating relevant new evidence as it becomes available. LSRs may be particularly important in fields where research evidence is emerging rapidly, current evidence is uncertain, and new research may change policy or practice decisions. (Simmonds et al., 2022)

LSR articles

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  • Elliott, J. H., Synnot, A., Turner, T., Simmonds, M., Akl, E. A., McDonald, S., Salanti, G., Meerpohl, J., MacLehose, H., Hilton, J., Tovey, D., Shemilt, I., Thomas, J., & Living Systematic Review Network (2017). Living systematic review: 1. Introduction-the why, what, when, and how. Journal of clinical epidemiology91, 23–30.
  • Elliott, J. H., Turner, T., Clavisi, O., Thomas, J., Higgins, J. P. T., Mavergames, C., & Gruen, R. L. (2014). Living Systematic Reviews: An Emerging Opportunity to Narrow the Evidence-Practice Gap. PLOS Medicine, 11(2), e1001603.

  • Khamis, A. M., Kahale, L. A., Pardo-Hernandez, H., Schünemann, H. J., & Akl, E. A. (2019). Methods of conduct and reporting of living systematic reviews: a protocol for a living methodological survey. F1000Research, 8.

  • Living Systematic Reviews: towards real-time evidence for health-care decision-making | BMJ Best Practice. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from

  • Thomas, J., Noel-Storr, A., Marshall, I., Wallace, B., McDonald, S., Mavergames, C., Glasziou, P., Shemilt, I., Synnot, A., Turner, T., Elliott, J., & Living Systematic Review Network. (2017). Living systematic reviews: 2. Combining human and machine effort. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 91, 31–37.


Simmonds, M., Elliott, J. H., Synnot, A., & Turner, T. (2022). Living Systematic Reviews. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)2345, 121–134.