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Systematic Reviews

Who says we need a librarian?

"Although the librarian's multiple roles are important in all forms of medical research, they are crucial in a systematic review." 

“Expert searchers are an important part of the systematic review team, crucial throughout the review process - from the development of the proposal and research question to publication.” (McGowan & Sampson, 2005) 

Harris, M. R. (2005). The librarian’s roles in the systematic review process: a case study. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 93(1), 81–87.

"The librarian is a key player on the team and needs to be an integral player in all meetings." 

McGowan, J., & Sampson, M. (2005). Systematic reviews need systematic searchers. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 93(1), 74-80. Retrieved from

*The information professional should write the methods section regarding the search methods.You may also want to consider providing a copy of one of the search strategies used in an appendix"  

Cochrane handbook

How Will the Librarian be Given Credit?

It is considered best practice to include a librarian as a team member when conducting a systematic or scoping review (see side bar to the left).  The librarian should either be acknowledged by name in the paper, or included as a co-author if the work was extensive and the librarian made a significant contribution (such as several revisions of the search strategy, and/or writing part of the methods section, etc.).  Doing this helps your paper, as it lets readers know that you followed the recommended best practice of working closely with a librarian.

-             Acknowledgment; suggested line for paper:  “We would like to thank (librarian) from the Library of Rush University Medical Center for their work on the literature search strategy for this review.”

-             Co-authorship:  please get in touch when you start drafting the Methods section of the paper.

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