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Systematic Searching Support

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

Selection criteria are important to determine in advance of screening records and are especially important for reviews that aim to minimize the chance of bias. 

Inclusion criteria: variables that are required for an article to be eligible for inclusion in a literature review.  Examples: experimental design, human subjects, English language, match of population/intervention/outcome

Exclusion criteria: variables that render an article inappropriate for inclusion. Exclusion criteria may not be as easy to identify in advance, but may become apparent with screening a test batch of records. Examples:healthy subjects (rather than patients), mixed age groups, funding from pharmaceutical industry.

Assessing Study Bias and Quality