Systematic Review Service

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What is a systematic review?

Cochrane Reviews says that a systematic review "attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision-making."

What can librarians do to support systematic reviews?

  • Advise research team on systematic review process

  • Search for existing reviews on the same topic

  • Select appropriate literature databases

  • Design and execute search strategies

  • Document search process

  • Manage search results and collect citations

  • Write methods section of resulting manuscript

Why include a librarian on a systematic review team?

Studies have shown that teams that include a librarian write more comprehensive and reproducible reviews than teams without a librarian. This research demonstrates that studies that included a librarian searched more widely and comprehensively and that reporting of the search strategy and other details of the search process are improved.

The participation of a librarian on a research team is recommended or required by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and MedicineCochrane, and Campbell Collaboration.

Systematic Review Contacts

Scott McEathron
Head of the Center for Graduate Initiatives and Engagement

Amalia Monroe-Gulick
Social Sciences and Collection Assessment Librarian

Michael Peper
Head of the Center for Faculty Initiatives and Engagement