If you are a researcher or PhD-candidate at USN writing a systematic review article, the library’s systematic search service can help you.
A systematic review summarises the best available knowledge on a specific subject. Reviews are based on a literature search carried out in a systematic, transparent, and repeatable way.
In a systematic review the literature search equals the data collection, and an experienced librarian uses on average one week on a systematic search. Please note that it is therefore important to start the collaboration with the library in an early stage of the project.
This is what you get:
- A thorough, peer-reviewed and documentet search strategy
- A systematic search
- Delivery of references in an agreed-upon format
- Publcation of the full search documentation on the USN Research Data Archive (with embargo if needed)
In addition to this, we offer:
- A text about the search strategy that can be included in applications for project funds
- A method text about the search in the final report
- The start of a PRISMA-flow chart
- A librarian co-author (subject to capacity) at capacity. Multiple studies show that the quality of systematic reviews is better when a librarian is involved in more than the search itself, for example https://doi.org/10.18438/eblip29601
Your expected contribution:
At the start of the search process:
- Participation in a start-up meeting to review the research project and search mission
- Initial search terms, sources, and limitations
During the search process:
- Communication with the library about adjustments and limitations after a preliminary search
- Assessment of preliminary results
After the search process:
- Write-up of the review
The library’s systematic search service can help with guidance, lectures etc. if your research group requires. Send a request to email@example.com.
The library’s systematic search service consists of our most experienced searchers. The searchers are experts in searching in different subject areas and databases. When we receive a systematic search request, we try to match competency and available capacity.
Before searching, we schedule a meeting with the research team to review the research project and search mission, using an interview guide. We will, amongst other things, ask if the review will need to conform to a guideline such as PRISMA, Cochrane or similar, if grey literature is of interest, about co-authorship etc.
A preliminary search is performed to check how much is written on the subject, often to see if the research question needs to be expanded or narrowed down. It is a less precise search in fewer databases, to achieve an overlook. A preliminary search is often useful to map uses of search terms in different fields, if for example the same word is used in totally different settings etc.
Systematic searches require a combination of database knowledge, searching skills and subject knowledge. Good communication with the client’s understanding about the current subject and a clear understanding about what you wish to achieve is important for the person(s) performing the search.
Example: “If we use the proximity operator here, then that will lead to... Is this in accordance with your needs? Or should we … instead?”
We peer review our systematic searches in-house according to PRESS - Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies. The peer reviewers check the search strategy for potential bias, the search syntax (boolean operators, parenthesis etc.) for errors, if the search terms are too wide or too narrow etc.
After the peer review of the search strategy and adjustments accordingly, we can perform the final search. This is the search we deliver full documentation on. A systematic search takes on average a week to perform, depending on scope and complexity.
When the search is finished, you will receive the following from us:
- All references. Standard delivery is as an EndNote library, please contact us if you require a different format
- When searching many databases it is only natural that some references appear more than once. These duplicates will be removed to the best of our ability before we send the references to you
- A delivery report with our agreement, full search documentation & a narrative about the development of the search strategy + explanations for choices made underway
- A DOI to the search documentation. We deposit the full search documentation, i.e. search history + the search narrative, on USNs open research data server. This means you get a persistent link, a DOI, to the full data set, which you can add to your finished review. The DOI means that your review’s search strategy is transparent and repeatable when you link to the DOI in your review
- If you wish, we can put an embargo on the research data set, to only make it visible to others after the review is published