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J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Jun;68(6):617-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.025. Epub 2015 Feb 7.

Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews.

Author information

1
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah, 10 N. 1900 E. Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. Electronic address: mlrethlefsen@gmail.com.
2
Mayo Clinic Libraries, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.
3
Mayo Clinic Libraries, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether librarian and information specialist authorship was associated with better reported systematic review (SR) search quality.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:

SRs from high-impact general internal medicine journals were reviewed for search quality characteristics and reporting quality by independent reviewers using three instruments, including a checklist of Institute of Medicine Recommended Standards for the Search Process and a scored modification of the Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies instrument.

RESULTS:

The level of librarian and information specialist participation was significantly associated with search reproducibility from reported search strategies (Χ(2) = 23.5; P < 0.0001). Librarian co-authored SRs had significantly higher odds of meeting 8 of 13 analyzed search standards than those with no librarian participation and six more than those with mentioned librarian participation. One-way ANOVA showed that differences in total search quality scores between all three groups were statistically significant (F2,267 = 10.1233; P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION:

Problems remain with SR search quality and reporting. SRs with librarian or information specialist co-authors are correlated with significantly higher quality reported search strategies. To minimize bias in SRs, authors and editors could encourage librarian engagement in SRs including authorship as a potential way to help improve documentation of the search strategy.

KEYWORDS:

Authorship; Librarians; Publishing; Quality control; Standards; Systematic review

PMID:
25766056
DOI:
10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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