Who’s Publishing Systematic Reviews? An Examination Beyond the Health Sciences

Maribeth Slebodnik, Kevin Pardon, Janice Hermer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of systematic reviews (SRs) published continues to grow, and the methodology of evidence synthesis has been adopted in many fields outside of its traditional health sciences origins. SRs are now published in fields as wide ranging as business, environmental science, education, and engineering; however, there is little research looking at the nature and prevalence of non-health sciences systematic reviews (non-HSSRs). In this study, a large sample from the Scopus database was used as the basis for analyzing SRs published outside the health sciences. To map the current state of non-HSSRs, their characteristics were investigated and the subject areas publishing them determined. The results showed that a majority of the non-HSSRs examined were lacking at least one characteristic commonly expected in health sciences systematic review (HSSRs) methodology. The broad subject areas publishing non-HSSRs fall mostly within the social sciences and physical sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIssues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Issue number101
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Evidence synthesis
  • Standards
  • Systematic reviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences


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