Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) has expanded the role of the librarian beyond the identification of the literature to be involved in other stages of the systematic review process. This presentation aims to describe librarians’ existing and evolving roles in the systematic review process.

Systematic reviews are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ research design as they attempt to identify, appraise, and synthesize all empirical evidence that meets explicit eligibility criteria to answer a highly focused question. The role of the librarian as an expert searcher is widely acknowledged, and over the years, librarians have been involved in other aspects of the review process. At present, the main tasks include contributing to developing the research protocol, specifically the methods component, designing and running the search as well as carrying out study selection. However, the role is evolving as librarians are working in partnership with research teams.

The demand for other types of evidence synthesis has been emerging specifically rapid reviews and scoping reviews. The technical proficiency learned conducting systematic reviews has given me the skills needed to be involved in developing other review types.

The quality and scope of the literature search component is the foundation on which every facet of the systematic review is built on. Therefore, contributing to other aspects of the review process can be rewarding providing opportunities to expand our expertise. A librarian can remain relevant in an ever-changing world.


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