An environmental scan of librarian involvement in systematic reviews at Queen’s University: 2020 update





Systematic reviews are a growing research methodology in the health sciences, and in other disciplines, having a significant impact on librarian workload. In a follow up to an earlier study, an environmental scan was conducted at Queen's University to determine what impact, if any, the introduction of a tiered service had on review publications where at least one co-author was from Queen's.


A search was conducted in PubMed and the Joanna Briggs database to find systematic reviews and meta-analyses with at least one author from Queen's University for the five-year time since the last environmental scan. Reviews were categorized by the degree of involvement of the librarian(s): librarian as co-author, librarian named in the acknowledgements, no known librarian involvement in the review.


Of 453 systematic reviews published in the five-year time frame, nearly 20% (89) had a librarian named as co-author. A further 24.5% (110) acknowledged the role of a librarian in the search, either in the acknowledgements section or in the body of the text of the article. In just over half of reviews (235 or 51.8%) a librarian was either not involved, or was not explicitly acknowledged in some capacity. Librarian involvement represented a wider range of persons and institutions.


In the five years since the last environmental scan, an increasing number of reviews recognize the role of the librarian in publishing systematic reviews, either through co-authorship or named acknowledgement. Also, as more librarians became involved in systematic reviews, librarian capacity has increased.




How to Cite

Ross-White, A. (2021). An environmental scan of librarian involvement in systematic reviews at Queen’s University: 2020 update. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association / Journal De l’Association Des bibliothèques De La Santé Du Canada, 42(2).



Research Articles