Critical Reflection On Systematic Review

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A critical reflection on the application of systematic review methods to a chosen research topic

My research diary is a bulky squared collection of pinned coarse beige papers. Despite not being as portable as a laptop, I always bring it with me as it contains the story of how I defined my doctoral research. The content is collected in chronological order and reflects the evolution of the subject. It starts with a list of statistics about the number of African migrants in different countries around the world. I remember obtaining this information in the old-fashioned evergreen way of googling it. It was back in 2012 and I was seating in the British Library, with a pencil, a black laptop only working if connected to the electricity
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I have organised the essay in different sections following the seven steps necessary to perform a systematic review. Each step describes what has been done but also gives space for reflections.

When first hearing about the systematic review, my initial reaction was the same question that gives the title to the essay by Philip Davies (2017): “Systematic Reviews: How are they different from what we already do?” Despite explaining in details the motivations why the systematic review should be preferred to other types of reviews, I found some of the arguments opposing other methods rather weak. For instance, when stating why the systematic review should be preferred to meta-ethnography, Davies says:

From the more positivistic perspective of meta-analysis, meta-ethnography, is seen as being limited by its inability to provide statistical accumulation of findings, its inability to allow prediction or to specify any degree of confidence about qualitative findings, and by its inability to allow for the statistical control of bias. (Davies, P. 2017,
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A systematic review is a thorough research, conducted both online and offline. And among the material retrieved and selected, a further selection is done when judging the quality of the literature. Indeed, it appears as a better-structured system compared to the unofficial I have used thus far. Finally, the necessary assessment of the quality of the research assures the material found is sound and eventually contributes to a deeper reflection on the topic. This will be more visible in the following paragraphs when focusing on the quality assessment of my findings.
The structure of this essay follows the seven steps suggested to complete a systematic review (Atkins et al 2008). Although the first step of a systematic review is defining a research question, this will not be discussed as my research question was already mentioned in the background paragraph. The paper will partially follow the remaining steps of a systematic review which are as follow:
• Developing a protocol & getting

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