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Systematic reviews and superpowers: harnessing Information Professionals’ unique skills to improve the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews
Shelley de Kock, Lisa Stirk, Steven Duffy, Caro Noake, Kate Misso, Janine Ross
KSR, United Kingdom
Many reasons for published systematic reviews (SRs) being assessed at high risk of bias are avoidable and could be prevented by enlisting the specialist skills and 'super powers' of Information Professionals.
The aim of this workshop is to help participants understand all aspects of an SR with an emphasis on why systematic searching and clear reporting of search methods is fundamental and the foundation to a high quality SR. We will present research showing how SRs often fail to search adequately and/or do not report search methods properly and, consequently, the validity and conclusions of the SR are called into question. The workshop will explore tools which Information Professionals can access and apply to improve the development of a search strategy and the reporting of SR search methods.
Working in groups, participants will assess the methods of SRs using the ROBIS (Risk of Bias) assessment tool, Domain 2 questions which focus on the searching and identification of evidence.
Top tips will be shared about how to report search methods and examples of well-reported methods will be shared so participants can be confident in supporting this part of SR work. Participants will also get to evaluate example search strategies and will discuss why the strategies are flawed and how they could be improved. This part will stress the importance of error prevention at an early stage and how improvements to the comprehensiveness of search strategies are best achieved by working collaboratively as a research team rather than in a supporting role as an individual searcher.
The workshop will end with a discussion and idea exchange on how Information Professionals can become more embedded in SR work, whether their contribution warrants authorship or acknowledgement, and what the group sees as potential reasons why Information Professionals are not being used fully in SRs.
Learning outcomes : By the end of the workshop, participants will understand why comprehensive, systematic searching and clear reporting are essential parts of the SR process. They will be able to confidently apply readily-available tools to help achieve this and, through discussion, the groups will have ideas about how to raise the profile and importance of Information Professionals and how to increase their involvement in the SR process.
Level : Intermediate
Target audience : Participants who are involved in or are likely to be involved in systematic review work
Preparation for the session : No
Biography and Bibliography Presenters are experienced information specialists with over 40 years of combined experience of working on systematic reviews. In their current positions, they are embedded in the systematic review process from the start of a project to its completion. Their role is to help define the scope of the project, design and implement the search strategies, write up search methods and provide overall information support to each project team that they work with. They have developed and delivered a range of training courses which they have presented at conferences, universities, government organisations and private organisations. They have also undertaken research in the reporting and conduct of search methods for systematic review work.