Building capacity in systematic review searching: a pilot program using virtual mentoring

Trina Fyfe, Liz Dennett

Abstract


Introduction: A well thought out, comprehensive search is the foundation for all systematic review research. Consequently, working on a first systematic review search can be intimidating. Articles and workshops, being less intensive than one-on-one training, are unlikely to instil enough confidence in one's ability to do a good job in this process. In this pilot program, an ongoing mentoring relationship was created as a means of building capacity and confidence in systematic review searching. Description: The mentorship program occurred in a virtual environment because the mentee and mentor were at two different institutions. Outcomes: To compensate for the distance, the mentor and mentee communicated and collaborated using free online collaborative software. The process for engaging in the program was developed between both the mentor and mentee to ensure individual and shared objectives would be met. This pilot program's process involved sharing searches, reflective journaling and recording time. Discussion: Building capacity in systematic review searching with an inexperienced searcher through virtual mentoring is an effective means of building confidence and skills in systematic review searching, and in building a sustainable mentor/mentee relationship.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5596/c2012-009

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