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Evidence Synthesis : How can a Librarian help?

Useful resources and tools for planning and conducting systematic reviews

How can a librarian help?

According to the Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research,:

  • A librarian or other qualified information specialist with training or experience in conducting SRs should work with the SR team to design the search strategy to ensure appropriate translation of the research question into search concepts, correct choice of Boolean operators and line numbers, appropriate translation of the search strategy for each database, relevant subject headings, and appropriate application and spelling of terms
  • Expert guidance recommends that an experienced librarian or information specialist with training in SR search methods should also be involved in performing the search

Source: Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research. (2011). Finding what works: Standards for systematic reviews. National Academies Press. 


Our librarians can help you and your team:

  • Determine if a systematic review has been done on the research question
  • Translate the research question into a search string
  • Identify keywords and controlled vocabulary
  • Identify databases & other sources
  • Create comprehensive search strategies
  • Assist with literature searching
  • Provide guidance on software to assist with the article screening process 
  • Provide guidance on citation management tools such as Zotero, EndNote, or RefWorks
  • Assist with the methodology section of the review