Creating evidence? Do it right! Talk to your librarian!

Systematic reviews are very important because many clinical guidelines and standard clinical practices are informed by and/or based on them. There is ample literature assessing the quality of systematic reviews across many disciplines, and a common theme that has emerged from a number of these studies has been the need for improving the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews. Two studies by Rethlefsen et al. (2015) and Meert et al. (2016) have looked at and compared systematic reviews with and without a librarian as co-authors. Both studies have found that having a librarian as part of the team correlated with a higher quality of reported search strategies in general internal medicine and pediatric systematic reviews respectively.

  • Rethlefsen ML, Farrell AM, Trzasko LC, Brigham TJ. Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. Journal of clinical epidemiology. 2015 Jun 1;68(6):617-26.
  • Meert D, Torabi N, Costella J. Impact of librarians on reporting of the literature searching component of pediatric systematic reviews. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA. 2016 Oct;104(4):267.

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