Librarian Involvement in Systematic Reviews at Queen’s University: An Environmental Scan
Systematic reviews pose a growing research methodology in many fields, particularly in the health sciences. Many publishers of systematic reviews require or advocate for librarian involvement in the process, but do not explicitly require the librarian to receive co-authorship. In preparation for developing a formal systematic review service at Queen’s, this environmental scan of systematic reviews was conducted to see whether librarians receive co-authorship or other acknowledgement of their role in systematic reviews.
A search of the Joanna Briggs Database and both Medline and PubMed for systematic reviews with at least one Queen’s-affiliated author was completed. These were classified based on the level of acknowledgement received by the librarian involved in the search into three groups: librarian as co-author, librarian acknowledged and unclear librarian involvement. In instances where the lead author was Queen’s-affiliated, these were also categorized by their primary academic department.
Of 231 systematic reviews published with at least one Queen’s-affiliated author since 1999, 32 listed a librarian as co-author. A librarian received acknowledgement in a further 36. The School of Nursing published the most systematic reviews and was most likely to have a librarian as co-author.
DiscussionLibrarians at Queen’s are actively involved in systematic reviews and co-authorship is a means of valuing our contribution. Librarians appear to be more likely to achieve co-authorship when they have advocated for this role in the past. Success varies according to the cultural norms of the department.
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