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Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis: Library Support for Reviews

The aim of this guide is to facilitate collaboration between Cushing/Whitney Medical Librarians and Yale researchers on evidence synthesis projects, and to support project completion and publication


Do you want to write a review (systematic, scoping, narrative, rapid, etc.), but are unsure where to start or do you need to find information about the process? 

This guideline along with your librarian can help you navigate the process.

How can library staff help you?

Librarians as consultants

Librarians are available to serve as consultants. In this capacity, librarians can offer advice on a research question, search strategy, or protocol that you have already developed or are developing on your own.

Librarians as co-authors

As co-author, CWML librarians join evidence synthesis project teams and contribute by:

Advising on the feasibility of a research question and matching it to an appropriate literature review type
Advising on the development and registration of a review protocol
Designing, testing, and implementing a search strategy using best practices
Improving reproducibility of the searching and screening process
Writing the search strategy methodology for publication

Support from Library Staff Team

Removing duplicate search results
Retrieving full-text articles

Please Note: Due to COVID-19, many libraries are closed and currently not lending; therefore, retrieval of full-text articles may be delayed. To learn more and stay up-to-date:


Librarians are available for tutorials, didactics, or class instruction.

Cochrane Interactive Learning helps users gain a more in-depth understanding of the process of conducting a systematic review. Make sure you are connected to the VPN before registering for a free account.

Co-Authorship Memorandum of Understanding

Co-authorship makes the librarian a visible member of your review team. This can convey credibility and rigor to grant-awarding bodies and journal editors scrutinizing your search methodology and results. It also removes a burden of work from the other members of the team. 

Preparing for Systematic Review Consultation

To help us understand the scope of your review, consider the questions on the following checklist and bring this document with you to your first group meeting with a librarian.