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Library Services FAQs

Common questions about the use of the library and its services.

Research Support

How can I find information on a specific research topic?

Galter Library has several resources to get you started with your research, and if you still need help, feel free to contact us for answers to your specific questions.

  • GalterGuides is your one-stop portal for library instructional content and expert-recommended subject resources.
  • Databases at Galter Library: A-Z list of all of the library's databases, with the most popular and relevant titles highlighted.
  • Research and systematic review support: Contact us to set up a consult with a library information expert before you embark on a major research project.

I want to conduct a literature search. Where should I start?

We can consult with you to help you work out a search strategy or run the searches for you. Galter Librarians have been named as co-authors on FSM publications due to their research efforts in conducting complex searches for systematic reviews and guidelines.

You can request a mediated search or search assistance in one of two ways:

  • Fill out the Ask a Librarian form
  • Call Reference Assistance at (312) 503-8126

There is no charge for literature searches performed for currently-affiliated FSM faculty, staff, students, and residents. If you are affiliated with a different school at Northwestern, please contact the library that supports that school for your research needs. Alumni with in-depth literature or historical research needs may be charged an hourly rate for library services. Please fill out the Ask a Librarian form to request details.

I want to conduct a systematic review. Where should I start?

We recommend you consult with a librarian at the outset of your project, when you are planning your review. Galter librarians can collaborate with you to:

  • Formulate your research question.
  • Investigate whether there is already a published systematic review on your topic or whether there is one currently under development.
  • Plan the search and write the search methods for your review protocol.
  • Determine which sources to search and develop sensitive search strategies for each source.
  • Identify appropriate search filters and execute the searches.
  • Deliver de-duplicated search results in a mutually agreed upon format (e.g. EndNote, RIS, Word).
  • Identify tools and strategies to capture the data for the PRISMA flow diagram.
  • Document the search process for reporting purposes.
  • Write the search methods of the review.

Librarians collaborating on systematic reviews commonly satisfy the criteria for authorship set forth by ICMJE. Co-authorship is expected when a librarian serves as colloborator rather than a consultant. If your project is in support of a grant proposal, plan to discuss the appropriate allocation of effort and include the librarian as a co-investigator or consultant.

Please download Preparing for your systematic review, review our systematic reviews guide, and contact your liaison librarian if you are interested in learning more about systematic review services at Galter Library.

Galter Library does not offer assistance pertaining to meta-analysis or meta-analytic methods. Contact the Biostatistics Collaboration Center for inquiries regarding meta-analysis.

Does the library offer any classes or training?

The Galter Library offers regularly-scheduled classes on popular topics, such as EndNote, Creating Posters Using PowerPoint, and PubMed. To see what's currently on offer, go to the class schedule.

If you cannot attend a regularly-scheduled class, then you can always set up an individual training appointment with one of our librarians. If you need help with software, such as EndNote, or would like to know more about how to use our databases, such as MEDLINE, then contact us to arrange a personal, customizable training session. We can also set up sessions for your department or group, either at your Chicago campus office or in the library's computer classroom.

Contact us at (312) 503-8126 or email the Galter Education Team.