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Assembling the Pieces of a Systematic Review

A Guide for Librarians

Edited by Margaret J. Foster and Sarah T. Jewell

Here is a complete guide for librarians seeking to launch or refine their systematic review services.

Conducting searches for systematic reviews goes beyond expert searching and requires an understanding of the entire process of the systematic review. Just as expert searching is not fully mastered by the end of a library degree, mastering the systematic review process takes a great deal of time and practice. Attending workshops and webinars can introduce the topic, but application of the knowledge through practice is required. Running a systematic review service is complicated and requires constant updating and evaluation with new standards, more efficient methods, and improved reporting guidelines.

After a brief introduction to systematic reviews, the book guides librarians in defining and marketing their services, covering topics such as when it is appropriate to ask for co-authorship and how to reach out to stakeholders. Next, it addresses developing documentation and conducting the reference interview. Standards specific to systematic reviews, including PRISMA, Institute of Medicine, and Cochrane Collaboration, are discussed. Search strategy techniques, including choosing databases, harvesting search terms, selecting filters, and searching for grey literature are detailed. Data management and critical appraisal are covered in detail. Finally, the best practices for reporting the findings of systematic reviews are highlighted.

Experts with experience in both systematic reviews and librarianship, including the editors of the book, contributed to the chapters. Each step (or piece) of the review process (Planning the review, Identifying the studies, Evaluating studies, Collecting and combining data, Explaining the results, and Summarizing the review into a report), are covered with emphasis on information roles.

The book is for any librarian interested in conducting reviews or assisting others with reviews. It has several applications: for training librarians new to systematic reviews, for those developing a new systematic review service, for those wanting to establish protocols for a current service, and as a reference for those conducting reviews or running a service.

Participating in systematic reviews is a new frontier of librarianship, in which librarians can truly become research partners with our patrons, instead of merely providing access to resources and services.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 242Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-1-4422-7701-4 • Hardback • March 2017 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4422-7702-1 • eBook • March 2017 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
Margaret J. Foster is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University and serves as the Systematic Review Coordinator at the Medical Sciences Library with a joint position at the School of Public Health and the College of Medicine at the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center. She earned a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) with emphasis in health informatics from the University of North Texas and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) with a focus on Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at Houston.

Sarah T. Jewell, an Information and Education Librarian for Rutgers University Libraries, has more than a decade of experience in science and medical libraries. She has been conducting systematic reviews since 2010, helping to launch the systematic review service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Library, and most recently spearheading the formalization of the systematic review service at Rutgers University Libraries, a service which spans multiple campuses.
Sarah Young and Erin Eldermire
3 Planning the Review Part 1: Reference Interview

MacEachern MP, Townsend W, Allee NJ
5 Identifying Studies Part 1: Database Searching

Susan Fowler
6 Identifying Studies Part 2: Beyond Database Searching

Sarah Jewell, Susan Fowler, and Margaret J. Foster
7 Identifying Studies Part 3: Case Studies

Margaret J. Foster, Sarah T. Jewell and guest authors
8 Evaluating: Study Selection and Critical Appraisal

Misa Mi
9 Collecting and Combining Study Data and Explaining the Findings

Margaret J. Foster, MS, MPH, AHIP
10 Summarizing: Writing Review Protocols and Reports

Mary Lou Klem and Charles Wessel
11 The Art of Puzzle Solving: Systematic Review Services

Sarah T. Jewell, Margaret J. Foster, and Margaret Dreker
12 The Last Piece: Librarianship and Systematic Reviews

Margaret J. Foster and Sarah T. Jewell
Combining both practical tips and theoretical underpinnings, Assembling the Pieces of a Systematic Review: A Guide for Librarians provides an overview of the entire process of synthesis, from framing the research question to summarizing and reporting the findings. Librarians will also find the information about infrastructure, expertise, and resources required for providing services related to these research methodologies of benefit, especially librarians trying to create new service lines to provide intensive support. Overall guidance on setting up and establishing services to fit within personnel competencies and time constraints is nicely balanced with helpful brief overviews of systematic review tools, data management software, and recommendations for documentation standards. Of particular interest are the case studies of research questions and search strategies in multiple disciplines, including transportation and education. Because of this broad approach and the emphasis on qualitative and mixed methods reviews, librarians in all fields, not just biomedicine, will find this instructive book of relevance when learning the basics of the evidence synthesis process.
Melissa L. Rethlefsen, Deputy Director at the Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah