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Systematic Review Service  

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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To schedule a consultation please submit a request

 * Students seeking assistance for course assignments or dissertations should submit a consult request.


Preparing for a Systematic Review


HS/HSL Systematic Review Service

Are you planning to conduct a systematic review? Let us help you!

Librarians at the HS/HSL are expert searchers who can support faculty investigators in conducting comprehensive literature searches for systematic reviews.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) states that the systematic review team should “Work with a librarian or other information specialist trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy.” (standard 3.1.1) 


  • Determine if a systematic review has been done on the topic
  • Recommend specific databases and grey literature sources to be searched
  • Collaborate with investigator(s) to develop appropriate search strategies to ensure that all relevant studies are identified
  • Conduct the literature search in relevant databases
  • Deliver search results into a citation management tool such as RefWorks
  • Assist in writing the search methodology section of the review
  • Set up search alerts and follow up with updates as needed

* Developing and processing database search strategies may take one month or longer. Be sure to engage the librarian in the early stages of your review.

Investigators are encouraged to

  • Involve the librarian in the systematic review from the outset of the project
  • Communicate with the librarian as the project evolves
  • Acknowledge the librarian as a contributing author in the final publication

Questions?  Contact Emilie Ludeman (Research, Education and Outreach Librarian) at


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