Skip to Main Content

Health Sciences - Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses: Data Management

LibGuide on Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Data Management

Research data management (RDM) is the process of thinking about what will happen to your data throughout the entire research lifecycle (creation, processing, analysis, storage, re-use).

The benefits of research data management are wide-ranging and include:

  • Meeting funder requirements on open research.
  • Increased citations and greater impact of your research.
  • Ensuring that your research evidence is properly backed up and protected against file loss/corruption.

It is vital that you:

  • Save all your search strategies.
  • Keep notes - copy and paste into a word document to collate for an appendix.

Use a tool such as Refworks, Mendeley or Endnote to help store and manage your references and to create bibliographies.

Research Data Management

University of Johannesburg recognises the importance of Research Data Management (RDM) as a part of good research practice in ensuring high standards of research integrity and excellence.

The Library will introduce you to various aspects of research data planning and management that will be beneficial for you, as well as the University and the wider research community.

Support for Research Data Management is provided by the University Library. If you have any questions, the Research Support Librarians can help you. Kindly contact Mr Tyson Mabunda.

Documenting Search Strategy

Step One - Documenting searches

It is essential to keep track of what you are doing by documenting your search process in enough detail to report it correctly in the review.

Documentation of your search strategy should include:

  • databases used
  • date of search
  • dates of coverage provided by each database
  • search terms used
  • total publications found
  • number of relevant publications
  • limits applied

Step Two Reporting searches

There are a number of places where searches can be reported. These include the appendix, the review abstract, the methods section, the results section or as supplementary material.

It is advisable to use the PRISMA 2009 flow diagram for further documentation of the number of records identified by database searching and through other sources. The flow diagram depicts the flow of information through the different phases of a systematic review. It maps out the number of records identified, included and excluded, and the reasons for exclusions.