Addressing challenges with systematic review teams through effective communication: a case report

Linda C. O’Dwyer, Q. Eileen Wafford

Abstract


Background: Every step in the systematic review process has challenges, ranging from resistance by review teams to adherence to standard methodology to low-energy commitment to full participation. These challenges can derail the project and result in significant delays, duplication of work, and failure to complete the review. Communication during the systematic review process is key to ensuring it runs smoothly and is identified as a core competency for librarians involved in systematic reviews.

Case Presentation: This case report presents effective communication approaches that our librarians employ to address challenges encountered while working with systematic review teams. The communication strategies we describe engage teams through information, questions, and action items and lead to productive collaborations with publishable systematic reviews.

Conclusions: Effective communication with review teams keeps systematic review projects moving forward. The techniques covered in this case study strive to minimize misunderstandings, educate collaborators, and, in our experience, have led to multiple successful collaborations and publications. Librarians working in the systematic review space will recognize these challenges and can adapt these techniques to their own environments.


Keywords


systematic review; communication; expectations; team management; process management; project management

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


Nicholson J, McCrillis A, Williams JD. Collaboration challenges in systematic reviews: a survey of health sciences librarians. J Med Libr Assoc. 2017;105(4):385.

Townsend WA, Anderson PF, Ginier EC, MacEachern MP, Saylor KM, Shipman BL, Smith JE. A competency framework for librarians involved in systematic reviews. J Med Libr Assoc. 2017;105(3):268–75. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2017.189. PubMed PMID: 28670216; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC5490706.

Wafford QE, O'Dwyer L. Systematic Review Toolkit [Outlines]. DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center. 2021 [updated 14 Jan 2021]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18131/g3-fx9k-hs23.

Wafford QE, O’Dwyer LC. Adopting a toolkit to manage time, resources, and expectations in the systematic review process: a case report. J Med Libr Assoc. 2021;109(4).

Edwards P, Clarke M, DiGuiseppi C, Pratap S, Roberts I, Wentz R. Identification of randomized controlled trials in systematic reviews: accuracy and reliability of screening records. Stat Med. 2002;21(11):1635–40.

Smith V, Devane D, Begley CM, Clarke M. Methodology in conducting a systematic review of systematic reviews of healthcare interventions. BMC medical research methodology. 2011;11(1):1-6.

Bullers K, Howard AM, Hanson A, Kearns WD, Orriola JJ, Polo RL, Sakmar KA. It takes longer than you think: librarian time spent on systematic review tasks. J Med Libr Assoc. 2018;106(2):198.

Borah R, Brown AW, Capers PL, Kaiser KA. Analysis of the time and workers needed to conduct systematic reviews of medical interventions using data from the PROSPERO registry. BMJ Open. 2017;7(2):e012545.

Tsafnat G, Glasziou P, Choong MK, Dunn A, Galgani F, Coiera E. Systematic review automation technologies. Syst Rev. 2014;3(1):74.

Galter Health Sciences Library and Learning Center. Systematic Reviews 2021 [Internet]. Available from: https://libguides.galter.northwestern.edu/systematic-reviews.

Paez A. Gray literature: An important resource in systematic reviews. J Evid Based Med. 2017;10(3):233–40.

Higgins JP, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. John Wiley & Sons; 2019.

Walker JS, Posey R, Crowell K. Knowing when to stop: final results vs. work involved in systematic review database searching. 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17615/36ey-p097.

Moher D, Altman DG, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J. PRISMA statement. Epidemiology. 2011;22(1):128.

McGowan J, Sampson M. Systematic reviews need systematic searchers. J Med Libr Assoc. 2005;93(1):74.

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Defining the role of authors and contributors [Internet]. 2016. Available from: .




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2021.1222

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2021 Linda C. O’Dwyer, Q. Eileen Wafford

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.