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How long does it take to conduct a systematic review or systematic map?

Systematic reviews and maps are the ‘gold standards’ in evidence reviews, providing the most reliable evidence for decision-making. However, these methods take a considerable amount of time to do well. The small tasks add up…

Being able to plan the resources needed for a systematic review is crucial for ensuring your review or your grant application is a success.But just how long do they take on average?

PredicTER is a tool for estimating how long a review will take to complete. The tool calculates the time requirements for various tasks involved in reviewing evidence, from planning and coordination to quantitative synthesis and reporting.

The tool contains default values provided by an assessment of 5 years of systematic reviews and maps published by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, but users can tailor the tool based on what they know about their own subject.

How long will your review take?

The PredicTER Tool

PredicTER has been designed specifically for high quality systematic reviews and systematic maps, conducted according to the recommended standards of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. Read more about their guidelines here.

Read the published article outlinging the research behind PredicTER in the journal Conservation Biology, here.

To use PredicTER, first select the Review Type: i.e. whether you are interested in systematic reviews or systematic maps (also known as evidence maps). Then enter as much information as you can about your topic and the evidence base. The default values in PredicTER are based on averages from reviews and maps published between 2012 and 2017 by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence.

Have you used PredicTER in planning a systematic review? Please let us know on Twitter, or considering citing the research article behind PredicTER:
Haddaway, N.R. and Westgate, M.J., 2019. Predicting the time needed for environmental systematic reviews and systematic maps. Conservation Biology, 33(2):434-443.

For best results when viewing the tool on a mobile phone, please flip your screen horizontally.

Contact the creators of PredicTER, Neal Haddaway or Martin Westgate here: