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Systematic reviews: Librarian co-authorship

Co-authorship of systematic reviews

SVHM staff planning to publish a systematic review can apply for a research librarian to co-author. Please note that due to staffing limitations and the significant time commitment required for a systematic review we are not able to accept all requests. Review teams need to include at least two other authors and to demonstrate a serious commitment to publish following the PRISMA guidelines. A senior member of staff will generally be involved.

Please note that we are unable to design search strategies or co-author in situations where staff are expected to do that themselves for study purposes. In those situations we can offer tutorials in literature searching, recording search methodology and Endnote. We can also offer access to Covidence systematic review software and tips on how to use it.

The librarian's role as co-author in a systematic review includes:

  • initial consultation with the review team around the subject matter and the librarian's expected role in the paper
  • brief scoping searches to identify relevant key terms, subject headings, textwords and phrases
  • identification of search terms through text mining programs such as Yale MeSH Analyser & Pubmed PubReMiner (where appropriate)
  • consultation with topic experts to confirm definitions and search parameters
  • development and refinement of initial search strategy for Ovid Medline
  • confirmation of Medline search strategy with topic experts
  • translation of Medline search strategy to other relevant databases such as Emcare, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase and the Cochrane Library
  • running searches in appropriate databases
  • recording databases searched, detailed search strategies, date of last search and number of results
  • export of search results to Endnote
  • removal of duplicate citations in Endnote
  • provision of deduped citations in a compressed Endnote library
  • initial draft of PRISMA flowchart including search results
  • access to Covidence systematic review software
  • advice on using Covidence
  • uploading results to Covidence
  • answering queries re search methodology
  • teaching team members/research assistants how to source full text articles for full text review stage (please note that library staff do not have the capacity to source large numbers of full text articles for a review due to staffing and time limitations)
  • updating searches on request
  • writing search methodology for publication
  • proofreading drafts and providing feedback
  • response to reviewers as appropriate
  • other relevant consultations with the research team in accordance with the librarian's expertise

Dependent on the topic expertise of the librarian and time commitments, there may also be some ability to take part in other stages of the review such as inclusion/exclusion on title and abstract, but this would need to be negotiated.

Published systematic reviews co-authored by library staff

Helen Wilding

Helen Wilding, Senior Research Librarian

Carl de Gruchy Library, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Literature Searching, Systematic Reviews, Mental Health liaison 
Thursdays, Fridays & alternate Wednesdays
Helen's profile | Researchgate | Orcid