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Systematic Reviews and Other Expert Reviews

#systematicreviews #sysrev

Welch Systematic Review Collaboration

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that including an information professional on the research team improves the quality and reporting of search strategies (Rethlefsen et al., 2015; McGowan and Sampson, 2005; Mokkink et al., 2009). The inclusion of a trained information professional on the team has become part of established standards for high quality systematic reviews ( IOM, Cochrane, AHRQ). 

Welch Library informationists have extensive training, skills, and experience in the sophisticated searching required for formal systematic reviews and for the creation of other comprehensive compilations of medical, basic science, and public health evidence.

Informationists are always available to answer your questions about the systematic review process.  Typically, when informationists act as members of systematic review teams, they do the following:

  • Review and/or refine the question with the project team
  • Identify the databases for searches
  • Develop and execute the searches
  • Document the search strategies
  • Select and implement a citation management strategy
  • Update searches as needed
  • Write or review the literature search description for the methods section of the manuscript
  • Review the final draft of the manuscript

Additionally, the informationist (and other library staff members) may contribute to:

  • Removal of duplicate citations from reference libraries
  • Title-abstract review
  • Full-text retrieval
  • Full-text review
  • Data abstraction

It is expected that informationists will receive authorship for their contributions as members of collaborative systematic review teams.  These substantial contributions meet the criteria for authorship of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):

  • Search strategies developed by informationists are substantial contributions to the design of systematic reviews and are essential for the acquisition of data for reviews. 
  • Documentation provided by informationists includes the databases searched, dates of searching, any limits or filters used, as well as the complete search strategies for all databases. 
  • These searching details are included in the methods section and appendix of the final manuscript.
  • Informationists will contribute to the writing and review of the final manuscript and will be accountable for their contributions to the project.

Feel free to reach out to us as soon as you begin planning your project.  This helps us estimate the time and effort to allocate to your project.  You can find the informationist assigned to your department on the Find Your Informationist page.         

An initial consultation with an informationist will address the following:

  • A well-defined research question with PICO components (PICO Worksheet Link)
  • Inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Projected project timeline
  • Three to five articles that best represent your research question
  • A draft protocol
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Selected Reviews with Welch Informationist Co-Authorship

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