In order to structure the initial research some people find it useful to use structured frameworks. These are not compulsory nor are they set in stone. They are designed to help you formulate your research; you do not have to structure your research to fit into any the frameworks.
Read our post 'Using frameworks to structure your search' for an introduction to PICO, PECO, and SPIDER search frameworks.
Patient Problem, (or Population) Intervention, Comparison or Control, and Outcomes (PICO)
Population, Exposure, Comparator, and Outcomes (PECO)
Sample, Phenomenon of Interest, Design, Evaluation, Research type (SPIDER)
When embarking on a systematic review you need to be clear of your objectives. Carefully consider the parameters of your research before you start, including scope and time span. Systematic reviews are primarily evidence-based pieces of research that methodically compare research in an unbiased manner so that the ultimate conclusions stand up in accordance to the evidence presented.
Whether a new study or a review of earlier thinking, systematic reviews are measured against a set of specific criteria outlined at the start.
When embarking on your initial research, consider whether it covers several disciplines. If it does, ask yourself the following questions:
If your research doesn't cover multiple disciplines, consider:
It will be easier to get started if you think about how your research connects to a wider audience/research group. Other professions may approach the same area/s you are interested in from a different viewpoint and may use different search terms and phrases to the ones you may initially think of.
If you are new to research you might find it useful to complete this online resource in evaluating your sources. The resource show you how asking questions can help you establish the reliability, objectivity and relevance of the evidence you find.