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Knowledge Synthesis

This guide includes content about systematic reviews, including general information and information about librarian assistance

If librarians translate one finalized database search into the idenfitied, relevant databases, prepare this for publication in the manuscript's appendices, or assist with the methods section, this is considered a substantial contribution to your systematic review and the librarian must be credited as a co-author. 

Levels of Service


This is required if a librarian:

  • Translates the first, finalized search into the other relevant databases and formats the search strategies for publication in the appendices of the manuscript


  • Assists with or writes the methods section

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of what librarians will help with during the systematic review process, merely the minimum requirements for authorship. Learn more at the bottom of the page under "Librarian's Role as Co-Author".


This is a consultant role.

Librarians can share resources about:

  • Identifying grey literature sources.
  • Creating inclusion/exclusion criteria.
  • Creating and registering a protocol.

Librarians can assist with:

  • Choosing the appropriate review type that fits your question.
  • Refining your topic.
  • Providing training on general usage of citation management software, finding full-text and screening tools.
  • Creating one database search, primarily in PubMed.
  • Critiquing your database searches.

Librarian's Role as Co-Author

In addition to the minimum requirements for authorship,

Librarians can share resources about:

  • Creating and registering a protocol.
  • Identifying grey literature sources.
  • Creating inclusion/exclusion criteria.
  • Critical appraisal or risk of bias. 

Librarians will help with:

  • Refining your topic.
  • Translating your PICO format to a research question or vice-versa. 
  • Providing training on finding full-text and screening tools.
  • Bulk export search results from the different databases and deduplicate. After this, we will then send you the .RIS file.
  • Filling out the PRISMA flow diagram.