Systematic Review Service

Working on a systematic review? Librarians at Himmelfarb are available to help you! A 2015 study noted that systematic reviews conducted with librarian or information specialist co-authors were more likely to achieve key quality measures in search strategy, documentation, and reproducibility. [1]

We can offer:

  • assistance in selecting search terms, databases, grey literature resources, and expert search strategies
  • execute finalized search strategies
  • assistance in obtaining relevant articles
  • assistance in organizing search results (RefWorks)
  • assistance in writing the methodology section, if desired

Any or all of these services are freely provided as part of the regular services offered by Himmelfarb librarians. Due to staffing levels, we are only able to work on a few systematic reviews simultaneously. Please contact us in advance so that we can coordinate the workload among the librarians in the reference department.

Once involved in a systematic review project, we would prefer:

  • involvement with the systematic review team from the outset of the project
  • continued communication with the team as the project evolves
  • acknowledgement as a contributing author in the final publication

The following table describes the systematic review services offered by Himmelfarb librarians. This list reflects our common practices in assisting students and faculty - however, you and your project librarian will develop a set of mutual expectations based on the circumstances of your project.

Students Faculty
Provide guidance on overall SR process Provide guidance on overall SR process
Provide guidance on PRISMA reporting requirements Provide guidance on PRISMA reporting requirements
Give instruction on where to find SR protocols Give instruction on where to find SR protocols
Give guidance on identifying relevant existing SR protocols Identify relevant existing SR protocols
Give guidance on identifying existing SR on same topic Identify relevant existing SR on same topic
Assist in developing PICO/PICOTS question Assist in developing PICO/PICOTS question
Give guidance in determining relevant databases to search Give guidance in determining relevant databases to search
Guide the construction of an appropriate search strategy Construct appropriate search strategy
Guide the translation of search startegy into other databases Translate search startegy into other databases
Give instruction on executing the search Execute the search
Give guidance on exporting results into RefWorks Export result into RefWorks
Give guidance on deduplicating search results in RefWorks Deduplicate search results in RefWorks
Give guidance on the writing the Methods section for the manuscript Write the Methods section for the manuscript
Advise on documentation of search strategies, results, PRISMA diagrams, etc. Advise on documentation of search strategies, results, PRISMA diagrams, etc.
The librarian may be acknowledged in any resulting publications at student's discretion The librarian is listed as a co-author on any resulting publications

More detailed information about how to conduct a systematic review can be found on our Systematic Reviews Research Guide. For further information or to request librarian assistance with a systematic review, please contact either your liaison librarian or Alexandra Gomes (gomesa@gwu.edu or 202-994-1825).

References:

1) Rethlefsen, M.L., Farrell, A.M., Osterhaus Trzasko, L.C., & Brigham, T.J. (2015). Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(6), 617-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.025. [Find full text]