Transforming the systematic review service: a team-based model to support the educational needs of researchers




Systematic Review Service, Systematic Reviews, Learning Outcomes, Team-Based Services


To meet the current needs of researchers who perform systematic reviews in health care settings, libraries need to provide high-quality educational services for researchers as part of their systematic review services. A team of librarians with diverse skills is also important for ensuring the growth and sustainability of systematic review services. This commentary describes a new team-based systematic review service model that can transform systematic review services by providing a pathway for librarians to offer a comprehensive educational service for systematic review research in a variety of health sciences library settings.

Author Biography

Stephanie Clare Roth, Biomedical and Research Services Librarian, Ginsburg Health Sciences Library, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140

Biomedical & Research Services Librarian


Schell CL, Rathe RJ. Meta-analysis: a tool for medical and scientific discoveries. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1992 Jul;80(3):219–22.

Mead TL, Richards DT. Librarian participation in meta-analysis projects. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1995 Oct;83(4):461–4.

Dudden R, Protzko S. The systematic review team: contributions of the health sciences librarian. Med Ref Serv Q. 2011 Jul;30(3):301–15.

Qiu MK, Cedrone ME, Chen Y, Liu YL, Treadwell JR. Advancing a librarian’s role in a rapid review: data screening. Presented at: MLA ’17, the 117 the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association; Seattle, WA; 29 May 2017.

Foster M. An overview of the role of librarians in systematic reviews: from expert search to project manager. J Eur Assoc Health Inf Libr. 2015;11(3):3–7.

Spencer AJ, Eldredge JD. Roles for librarians in systematic reviews: a scoping review. J Med Libr Assoc. 2018 Jan;106(1):46–56. DOI:

Hardi AC, Fowler SA. Evidence-based medicine and systematic review services at Becker Medical Library. Mo Med. 2014 Sep–Oct;111(5):4165–8.

Ludeman E, Downton K, Shipper AG, Fu Y. Developing a library systematic review service: a case study. Med Ref Serv Q. 2015;34(2):173–80.

Knehans A, Dell E, Robinson C. Starting a fee-based systematic review service. Med Ref Serv Q. 2016 Jul–Sep;35(3):266–73.

Roth S, Burstein K. Implementing a formal systematic review service in an academic health science library setting [conference poster]. Philadelphia, PA; Medical Library Association Tri-Chapter Meeting; Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MAC), New York-New Jersey Chapter (NY-NJ), and Philadelphia Regional Chapter; 2016. (Available from: <>. [cited 4 Jan 2018].)

Jewell ST, Foster MJ, Dreker M. The art of puzzle solving: systematic review services. In: Foster MJ, Jewell ST, eds. Assembling the pieces of a systematic review: guide for librarians. (Medical Library Association Books Series.) Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield; 2017. p. 183–201.

Nicholson J, McCrillis A, Williams JD. Collaboration challenges in systematic reviews: a survey of health sciences librarians. J Med Libr Assoc. 2017 Oct;105(4):385–93. DOI:

Morton S, Berg A, Levit L, Eden J. Finding what works in health care: standards for systematic reviews. National Academies Press; 2011.

Moher D, Shamseer L, Clarke M, Ghersi D, Liberati A, Petticrew M, Shekelle P, Stewart LA. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement. Syst Rev. 2015 Jan;4(1):1.

Roth S. Transforming the systematic review service: a team-based approach to the library systematic review service model [Internet]. Open Science Framework; 2017 Dec [cited 20 Feb 2018]. <>.