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Evidence Synthesis & Systematic Review Service @ SJSU

This guide is intended to link SJSU faculty to the Evidence Synthesis & Systematic Review Service @ SJSU Library, as well as point them to resource that support systematic reviews and other forms of evidence synthesis.

Evidence Synthesis & Systematic Review Service @ SJSU Library

Our librarians can partner with current SJSU faculty to conduct evidence synthesis, such as systematic reviews, scoping reviews or other comprehensive literature searches. Service capacity is limited by librarian availability. We reserve the right to decline projects as needed.

Scroll down for the tiers of service below.

Why Work with a Librarian?

Service Tiers

Initial Conversation

Meet with a faculty librarian to discuss your research topic and objectives and explore review methodologies. During this session, you and your librarian may discuss

  • what type of review is best for your topic,
  • whether an evidence synthesis has already been published on this topic,
  • your expected timeline, and
  • and what service tier is most appropriate.


Tier 1: Training

In Tier 1, the librarian can provide training in a variety of areas, such as

  • identifying databases and other sources of information,
  • creating effective search strategies, and 
  • using citation management tools or other evidence synthesis tools.


Tier 2: Consultant

In Tier 2, the faculty librarian acts as a consultant and can be brought in at any point in your evidence synthesis project. This tier is appropriate for all researchers. At this tier, the librarian can

  • provide introduction and overview of evidence synthesis methodologies,
  • share background resources,
  • suggest databases and other online resources to target your searches,
  • recommend other tools to support your project, such as citation management software or protocol registration platforms, and
  • edit your primary search strategy.

At Tier 2 the librarian should be credited in the acknowledgements of any presentations or publications arising from this review.


Tier 3: Partnership

In Tier 3, the faculty librarian joins your team as a coauthor and subject expert in search methodologies. Their involvement is more hands-on and typically lasts longer than one year.  This tier is most appropriate for faculty projects. At this tier, the librarian can

  • search online databases and repositories to verify if your topic has already been written on,
  • work with you to develop or refine your protocol,
  • select databases and other online resources to search,
  • develop and execute search strategies optimized for each database,
  • import records into citation management or systematic review software,
  • perform deduplication of records, and
  • write the part of the methods section that covers searching.

At Tier 3, the librarian should be credited as a coauthor. Refer to the ICMJE's Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors for their recommendations on what criteria separates co-authorship from non-author contributions.


High-quality evidence synthesis reviews are time-consuming. Systematic reviews and scoping reviews tend to take 12-18 months to complete. Timeframes may vary due to the topic, number of records, availability of team members, etc. You should take this into account when deciding on what type of review is best for your topic.