Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Systematic Reviews: Library Services

This guide is for the clinician undertaking a systematic review.

How Can We Help?

Librarians are standing by to help with your systematic review.  Here's how we can help:

  • Identify reviews
  • Assist with search strategies and inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Help formulating your PICO question
  • Training on Endnote
  • Provide document management strategies
  • Provide content for how the search was conducted for the Methods section of your review

Librarian Assistance with Systematic Reviews

Should you ask the library for help with your systematic review?  YES! 

As noted in Institute of Medicine Standards for Systematic Reviews, at a minimum your team should involve a librarian at the following stages of your review:

3.1.1     Work with a librarian or other information specialist trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy
3.1.2 Design the search strategy to address each key research question
3.1.3 Use an independent librarian or other information specialist to peer review the search strategy


Librarians can also help with other steps throughout the planning, conducting, and reporting phases of your systematic review. We can save you time and confusion by providing guidance on best practices for many of the steps along the way, as well as helping refine your topic, creating systematic literature searches of all relevant databases, searching the grey literature, and providing information for your PRISMA figure and Methods section.

[In addition, librarians have been associated with higher quality reported search strategies in systematic reviews according to the following article: Rethlefsen, ML; Farrell, AM; Osterhaus Trzasko, LC; Brigham, T. (2015) Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Jun;68(6):617-26. PMID: 25766056 ]

Adapted from

Requesting Materials from the Library

The library uses a system called Document Delivery to deliver electronic materials to you.  You can use this system to request articles, book chapters, and even physical library items.  Because systematic reviews often involve hundreds of articles and citations, it's important use a well-organized approach to gathering and storing articles.  Document Delivery can help you make short work of gathering and managing your sources. These links contain additional information about Document Delivery:

Document Delivery System - request and receive electronic documents from library.  

Document Delivery System (Remote) - a simplified version of Document Delivery that works from off campus

Additional information about the Document Delivery system   - Instructions for using Document Delivery and answers to frequently asked questions