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Systematic Review Service

Systematic Review Service Overview

Starting to write a systematic review?  The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends working with an information professional when conducting a systematic review.  In addition, a JAMA article titled "Engaging Medical Librarians to Improve the Quality of Review Articles", explains the value of having a medical librarian as part of your review team.

The UChicago biomedical librarians are available to discuss your project with you, review any terms you have or show you how to develop a terms list, advise on database selection, and give you an overview of the review process. Review teams then run their own searches and continue the process with minimal input from the librarian.

Systematic Review Service


  • Discuss different types of reviews (e.g. systematic, narrative, etc.)
  • Help formulate the research question
  • Verify question has not recently been addressed in a systematic review
  • Advise on reporting standards and best practices (e.g. PRISMA Guidelines, Cochrane, IOM etc.)
  • Advise on database selection
  • Train on use of database platforms
  • Train on use of citation management tools
  • Train on obtaining full-text of published papers
  • Discuss software tools for organizing systematic reviews
  • Discuss inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Assist with finding resources on developing protocols

If you would like to setup an initial consultation meeting, please contact


***The Searching and Methodology services described below are not available at this time.***

The following services constitute a major contribution to the review and require librarian co-authorship.


  • Identify keywords and controlled vocabulary terms
  • Develop formal, comprehensive search strategies
  • Translate strategies for each database
  • Conduct searches in multiple databases
  • Export results to citation management tool, including de-duplication
  • Document and save search strategies


  • Write methods section on search strategy and its execution
  • Format appendix with search strategy from selected database(s)

Subject Specialist

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Deb Werner
Director of Library Research in Medical Education
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 268

Subject Specialist

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Kaitlyn Van Kampen
Clinical Librarian
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 263