There are two barriers to accomplishing restoration of ecosystems: insufficient information about historical baselines to guide restoration, and shifts between the actual baselines and perceptions about historical conditions. These two conditions generate a phenomenon called shifting baseline syndrome (SBS). Our study systematically reviewed and quantitatively analyzed the SBS studies. There is an increase and subsequent stabilization in the number of publications, 32% of scientific articles added new information and 5% of them delivered biological and social information required to demonstrate the SBS presence. Meta-analysis conducted showed an inconsistency between biological and social data. The inclusion of a greater amount of species in the biological data compared to social data produced the inconsistency. There must be an improvement in reporting both biological and social information to assess SBS. The integration of both sources of information would also enhance the success of restoration projects. The consideration of perceptions about resource users are also in accordance with global agreements about sustainable use of natural resources and ecological restoration.