Designing Search Strategies for Systematic Reviews: A Hands-on Course

MLA Course
Listing Archived: Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Primary contact information...
Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine
660 S. Euclid Avenue
St. Louis MO , 63110
United States
Angela Hardi is the primary contact.
Phone: 3143622787
Region: Midcontinental

Description: The goal of this course is to provide participants with hands-on experience creating a systematic review search strategy based on the most currently available guidelines and first-hand experience of the course instructors. The course design includes lecture, hands-on exercises, individual and group work, and peer teach-back opportunities. By the end of the two day course participants should be better able to manage a systematic review project, design a systematic review search strategy for multiple databases and grey literature resources, demonstrate how to report search methods, and understand the librarian’s role in a systematic review project

Experience Level: Beginning
CE Contact Hours: 13.5
Professional Competencies: Research + Analysis and Interpretation
Subject: Expert Searching, New Librarian, Research
Course Type: Face to Face, Hands-on

Educational Objective: Course Objectives: *Explain the librarian’s role in designing a systematic review search *Conduct a systematic review consultation *Design a systematic review search strategy for multiple databases *Report on methods regarding search design


Day One
Lesson 1: Introduction (45 min): 8:30-9:15 [Lecture]
Lesson 2: Guidelines (75 min) 9:15-10:30 [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group)]
Break: 10:30-10:45 
Lesson 3: Patron Contact (60 min): 10:45-11:45 [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group)]
Break – Lunch – 11:45-1:00
Lesson 3 continued: PICO Plan (30 min): 1:00-1:30 [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group)]
Lesson 4: Search Design, Bias, and Recall (45 min): 1:30-2:15 [Lecture]
Break: 2:15-2:30
Lesson 5: Term Harvesting (90 minutes): 2:30-4:00 [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group)]

Day Two
Brief overview of day/answer lingering questions from day 1: 8:30-8:45
Lesson 6: Designing Concept Hedges (90 minutes): 8:45-10:15: [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group]
Break: 10:15-10:30
Lesson 7: Combining Concept Hedges (90 minutes): 10:30-12:00 [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group)]
Lunch: 12:00-1:00
Lesson 8: Citation Management (15 minutes): 1:00-1:15 [Lecture]
Lesson 9: Grey Literature Resources (60 minutes): 1:15-2:15 [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group)]
Break: 2:15-2:30
Lesson 10: Writing the Methods Section (45 minutes): 2:30-3:15 [Lecture and Hands-on Activity (Individual and Group)]
Lesson 11: Send Results to Patron (15 minutes): 3:15-3:30 [Lecture]
Lesson 12: Wrap up and Follow-up (30 minutes): 3:30-4:00 [Lecture and Group Discussion]
Conclusion and Post-Test/Post-course evaluation: 4:00-4:40 

Need for This Course: A 2016 study published in PLOS Medicine found a three-fold increase in the number of systematic reviews published since 2004.[Page, 2016] Thus, there has been growing demand for librarians to assist with the design and creation of systematic review search strategies. Librarians who have beginner to intermediate experience with creating systematic review search strategies will benefit from attending our course which emphasizes hands-on experience with the entire systematic review project—from initial patron contact, through designing search strategies, through delivering the final product.

The instructional methods used include Lecture, Slides, Discussion, Hands-on Exercises, Case Study, and Problem-based.

Participant Materials: Participants will receive a binder which will include: copies of all lesson presentation slides, case study exercise materials, additional hand-out materials (PRISMA and PRESS guideline sheets, systematic review cheat sheets, etc.), and a comprehensive glossary of terms. Students will complete most of the exercises related to building their systematic review search strategies in Google Docs so that they can easily share their work with their group members and we course instructors. Finally, there will be a course Libguide which will include links to Google Docs and other course materials.

Facility Requirements: Computer lab or similar room where students will have access to a computer and an internet connection

Additional Evaluation: Participants will be asked to take a pre and post test to help assess the effectiveness of the course content and instruction. They will also be asked to complete course evaluations 1-week and 6-months post course. We will also ask participants to take the MLA course evaluation at the conclusion of the course.

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