Systematic Reviews and Librarians: A Primer for Managers

  • Genevieve C. Gore McGill University
  • Julie Jones Simon Fraser University
Keywords: systematic reviews, research syntheses, library management, librarian as research partner, research services, expert searching


Systematic reviews—and research syntheses in general—are increasing as a form of research. As a result, academic librarians from across disciplines are seeing a growth in the number of requests for library resources and services to support the development and publication of systematic reviews. In some cases, librarian involvement with systematic reviews takes the form of co-authorship. This article will arm library decision-makers with an overview of systematic reviews and details of how they differ from traditional literature reviews. Systematic reviews provide exciting opportunities for libraries such as potential income, increased use of library services, research output, and alignment with the new roles of academic libraries; however, they also raise issues that managers, administrators, and leaders need to understand and address if librarians are to succeed in these evolving partnerships with their research communities. Significant issues raised include: training and mentoring, time commitment, tenure and promotion, workload, student and research support, and funding.

Author Biographies

Genevieve C. Gore, McGill University
Liaison Librarian Life Sciences Library
Julie Jones, Simon Fraser University
GIS & Map Librarian / Liaison Librarian for Geography
Theory and Research