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Systematic Review & Scoping Review Support in the Health Sciences

A Guide to Evidence-Synthesis in the Health & Rehabilitation Sciences


This guide is designed to help students, faculty members, and researchers at Sargent College get started with systematic reviews, scoping reviews other types of evidence synthesis.

I look forward to assisting you!

How Can I Help?

Consultation & Training

This level of support is available to all undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, and faculty members at Sargent College. Any of these services are a regular part of my job and are available anytime:

  • provide you with tools and resources for learning about the process of researching and writing systematic reviews/scoping reviews/meta-analyses.
  • assistance finding existing systematic reviews on your topic.
  • selecting appropriate journal databases for your research question.
  • help with identifying controlled vocabulary and keywords to optimize your search.
  • instruction on performing advanced searches in databases.
  • recommending sources of grey literature to supplement your research.
  • training on the use of citation management software & Rayyon to help you manage your research.
  • help setting up research alerts in online databases.


I offer to collaborate with faculty members and postdoctoral researchers on systematic reviews/scoping reviews/meta-analyses projects. Collaborative services include all the services outlined in the consultation & training section plus:

  • providing you with keywords and a search syntax for each database.
  • running searches in our databases.
  • saving search results in Rayyon (or citation management software) and removing duplicate entries from the search.

I request that you acknowledge my assistance in your final publication. Here is an example of an acknowledgement:

Escher, A. A., McKinnon, S., & Berger, S. (2022). Effective interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice to address participation for adults with aphasia: A systematic review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 85(2), 99-110.

Please note: Depending on the time of the semester, there may be brief waiting period for collaborative services, but I will always be glad to help you get started by providing consultation and training services.


I offer to serve as a contributing author to your evidence-synthesis. As a contributing author, I will provide all the services described at the collaborative level, plus

  • assistance retrieving the full-text of articles.
  • documenting the search strategy and results according to PRISMA Guidelines.
  • authoring the methodology section of your review related to the search strategy.
  • outlining the search strategy in the appendices of your publications.

Please note: my availability to serve as a co-author may depend on the time of the semester and the number of other projects I am involved in, but I will always be glad to provide all consultation and training services, and/or collaboration.

Health Sciences Librarian

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Kate Silfen
Mugar Memorial Library

Why Work With a Librarian?

Rethlefsen, Farrell, Osterhaus Trzasko, & Brigham. (2015). Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(6), 617-626.

Spencer, A. J., & Eldredge, J. D. (2018). Roles for librarians in systematic reviews: a scoping review. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 106(1), 46.