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Systematic Reviews

Systematic review services and guidance at Galter Library

Systematic & Scoping Review Services at Galter

Galter Library provides systematic and scoping review support to Feinberg School of Medicine affiliates and recommends that you consult with a librarian at the outset of your project, when you are planning your review. We offer two support models for reviews*, each with different levels of effort and expectation.

*Galter offers support for systematic, scoping, meta-analysis, and other types of reviews. Your librarian can help you decide which review methodology is best suited to your research question(s).

Consult model

With this model, a librarian will 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. This typically occurs in a one-hour call by phone or Zoom. Review teams then run their own searches and continue the process with minimal input from the librarian.

Collaboration model

With this model, librarians collaborate with you to:

  • Formulate your research question.
  • Investigate whether there is already a published systematic or scoping 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.
  • Assist with setting up a pilot screen to train your review team and clarify criteria.
  • Advise on the choice of screening platforms.
  • Deliver de-duplicated search results in a mutually agreed upon format (e.g. EndNote, Covidence, Rayyan).
  • Assist with obtaining full-text articles.
  • 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.
  • Review the manuscript prior to submission.
Library-assisted Tasks Estimated Time
Search for existing systematic or scoping reviews
3-5 days
Search strategy development process
2-4 weeks
Write search methods for the protocol
2-5 days
Translate and perform searches on prespecified databases
2-4 weeks
Remove duplicates and deliver search results
3-5 days
Assist with setting up the pilot screening
1-3 days

Assist with obtaining full-text articles 

Note: teams are responsible for submitting InterLibrary Loan (ILL) requests

7-10 days per 50 citations
Document search process for reporting purposes 
1-3 days
Write the search methods for the manuscript
1-3 days
Review manuscript prior to submission
1-3 days


Librarians collaborating on systematic and scoping reviews commonly satisfy the criteria for authorship set forth by ICMJE. Co-authorship is expected when a librarian serves as collaborator 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.

Time Consideration

Teams collaborating with Galter librarians take on average 12.5 months to complete a systematic review after submitting the protocol. 

Meta-analysis assistance

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

Galter Library systematic and scoping review support

Ready to make a request for systematic or scoping review support from Galter Library? Complete and submit a request now.

Systematic, scoping, and other literature review services are available to Feinberg School of Medicine faculty, students, and staff. Students and faculty from other schools should contact their supporting library for assistance. Galter Library is unable to collaborate on practice guidelines, consensus statements, or other research syntheses on behalf of outside professional organizations and societies.

Preparing for Your Systematic Review

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