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Systematic Review Service: Request a Consultation

Reference Services Support

How can the Library help?

Reference Librarians can serve as consultants or co-authors depending on the degree of involvement in the review project.

Use this form to submit a Systematic Review search request.

At a minimum, we can save you TIME!

Different Stages of SR

Librarian's Role

Before the review

Provide guidance and best practice guidelines

Develop and refine your research question

Find if there are existing reviews or protocols on same/similar topics

Map the existing literature on the topic

Protocol Development and Publication

Provide support documents and templates (PRISMA)

Determine if/where to publish the protocol (PROSPERO, JBI etc.)

Write the searching methods section

Search Strategy Development and Documentation

Create effective and exhaustive searches for different databases

Search grey literature (e.g. conference abstracts.)

Hand searching of relevant journals

Citation Management and Study Selection

Export citations from databases to EndNote

Remove duplicates

Export citations to Covidence or JBI Sumari for screening

Help with using Covidence to manage the title-abstract and full text screening

Find full text for selected references

Quality Assessment

Help select the appropriate tool, standards and templates for assessing included studies

Data Extraction

Provide examples for similar reviews with completed data tables

Provide best practices for reporting the data

Submitting Review for Publication

Provide examples of prior, published reviews to guide you in preparing your manuscript.

Help report/write the search strategy and review methodology in the completed review

Additional Readings

The IOM Standards for Systematic Reviews and the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions highly recommend that the systematic review team include a librarian who can develop an exhaustive search strategy and also help with the planning, conducting and reporting phases of the review.

Research shows the benefits of having a librarian on the review team:

Rethlefsen ML, Farrell AM, Osterhaus Trzasko LC, Brigham TJ. Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 2015;68(6):617-626. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.

Rethlefsen ML, Murad MH, Livingston EH. Engaging medical librarians to improve the quality of review articles. JAMA. 2014;312(10):999-1000. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9263

Dudden RF, Protzko SL. The systematic review team: contributions of the health sciences librarian. Med Ref Serv Q. 2011;30(3):301-315. doi:10.1080/02763869.2011.590425

Meert D, Torabi N, Costella J. Impact of librarians on reporting of the literature searching component of pediatric systematic reviews. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016;104(4):267-277. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.104.4.004

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