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Brown School Library Systematic Review Resources and Services

In this guide, Brown School Library describes our available services and resources for supporting your systematic review work.

What is a Systematic Review?

A Systematic review “attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question.  It uses explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view to minimizing bias, thus providing more reliable findings from which conclusions can be drawn and decisions made.”*

*Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from, Section 1.2.2 

The Brown School Library will support your systematic review project by... 

  • Consulting with you regarding how to design a thorough reproducible search suitable for reporting for publication
  • Provide advice regarding the best databases and other resources to include in your search
  • Provide educational resources to help inform your process

Brown School Librarians are not typically available to be co-authors on systematic reviews. Co-authorship level participation includes designing a fully reproducible and reportable search strategy and writing the methods on how the search was designed and conducted. When librarians work as co-authors on systematic reviews, they also typically translate the search strategy across the various databases and interfaces searched, run the searches, transfer citations to a citation management system, deduplicate the citations, and provide the citations in a format that allows the rest of the team to easily screen results for inclusion and exclusion criteria. Anyone on your team that provides the level of work just described should be included as an author. 

If you are Washington University School of Medicine faculty, student, or staff, you can take advantage of the Becker SR Service. Librarians providing the Becker SR Service are more likely to be available for author level contribution.   

Thank You to Becker Medical Librarians
This guide was largely modeled after the guide created by the librarians at Becker Medical Library. We are grateful to them for their generosity and leadership. 

Librarian Co-Authored Systematic Reviews

  1. Stoll CRT, Izadi S, Fowler S, Philpott-Streiff S, Green P, Suls J, Winter AC, Colditz G. (2019) Multimorbidity in randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions: A systematic review. Health Psychology.   
  2. VandenBerg J, Cullison K, Fowler SA, Parsons MS, McAndrew CM, Carpenter CR. Blunt Thoracolumbar-Spine Trauma Evaluation in the Emergency Department: A Meta-Analysis of Diagnostic Accuracy for History, Physical Examination, and Imaging. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2019;56(2):153-65.
  3. Kominiarek MA, Lewkowitz AK, Carter E, Fowler SA, Simon M. Gestational weight gain and group prenatal care: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2019;19(1).
  4. Carpenter CR, Banerjee J, Keyes D, Eagles D, Schnitker L, Barbic D, et al. Accuracy of Dementia Screening Instruments in Emergency Medicine: A Diagnostic Meta-analysis. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2019;26(2):226-45.
  5. Zenga J, Gross J, Fowler S, Chen J, Vila P, Richmon JD, et al. Salvage of recurrence after surgery and adjuvant therapy: A systematic review. American Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery. 2018;39(2):223-7.
  6. Stephens RJ, Dettmer MR, Roberts BW, Ablordeppey E, Fowler SA, Kollef MH, et al. Practice patterns and outcomes associated with early sedation depth in mechanically ventilated patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Critical Care Medicine. 2018;46(3):471-9.
  7. Stephens RJ, Dettmer MR, Roberts BW, Fowler SA, Fuller BM. Practice patterns and outcomes associated with early sedation depth in mechanically ventilated patients: A systematic review protocol. BMJ Open. 2017;7(6).
  8. Johnson KJ, Lee JM, Ahsan K, Padda H, Feng Q, Partap S, et al. Pediatric cancer risk in association with birth defects: A systematic review. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(7).
  9. Drewry AM, Ablordeppey EA, Murray ET, Stoll CRT, Izadi SR, Dalton CM, et al. Antipyretic therapy in critically ill septic patients: A systematic review and meta-Analysis. Critical Care Medicine. 2017;45(5):806-13.
  10. Carter EB, Temming LA, Fowler S, Eppes C, Gross G, Srinivas SK, et al. Evidence-based bundles and cesarean delivery surgical site infections: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2017;130(4):735-46.
  11. Ablordeppey EA, Drewry AM, Beyer AB, Theodoro DL, Fowler SA, Fuller BM, et al. Diagnostic Accuracy of Central Venous Catheter Confirmation by Bedside Ultrasound Versus Chest Radiography in Critically Ill Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Critical Care Medicine. 2017;45(4):715-24.
  12. Levy PT, Machefsky A, Sanchez AA, Patel MD, Rogal S, Fowler S, et al. Reference Ranges of Left Ventricular Strain Measures by Two-Dimensional Speckle-Tracking Echocardiography in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. 2016;29(3):209-25.e6.
  13. How J, Blattner M, Fowler S, Wang-Gillam A, Schindler SE. Chemotherapy-associated Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Neurologist. 2016;21(6):112-7.
  14. Chin-Yee D, Eck T, Fowler S, Hardi A, Apte RS. A systematic review of as needed versus treat and extend ranibizumab or bevacizumab treatment regimens for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2016;100(7):914-7.
  15. Carter EB, Temming LA, Akin J, Fowler S, Macones GA, Colditz GA, et al. Group Prenatal Care Compared with Traditional Prenatal Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2016;128(3):551-61.
  16. Carpenter CR, Hussain AM, Ward MJ, Zipfel GJ, Fowler S, Pines JM, et al. Spontaneous Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Describing the Diagnostic Accuracy of History, Physical Examination, Imaging, and Lumbar Puncture With an Exploration of Test Thresholds. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2016;23(9):963-1003.
  17. Boots CE, Hill MJ, Feinberg EC, Lathi RB, Fowler SA, Jungheim ES. Methotrexate does not affect ovarian reserve or subsequent assisted reproductive technology outcomes. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 2016;33(5):647-56.
  18. Wildes TM, Dua P, Fowler SA, Miller JP, Carpenter CR, Avidan MS, et al. Systematic review of falls in older adults with cancer. Journal of Geriatric Oncology. 2015;6(1):70-83.
  19. Veronese N, Cereda E, Solmi M, Fowler SA, Manzato E, Maggi S, et al. Inverse relationship between body mass index and mortality in older nursing home residents: A meta-analysis of 19,538 elderly subjects. Obesity Reviews. 2015;16(11):1001-15.
  20. Kumar G, Uhrig D, Fowler S, Delaney MC, Alexandrov AV. Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator does not impact mortality in acute ischemic stroke at any time point up to 6 months: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. CNS Drugs. 2015;29(8):659-67.
  21. Fuller BM, Mohr NM, Skrupky L, Fowler S, Kollef MH, Carpenter CR. The use of inhaled prostaglandins in patients with ARDS: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Chest. 2015;147(6):1510-22.
  22. Duncan S, Wingerter S, Keith A, Fowler SA, Clohisy J. Does previous osteotomy compromise total hip arthroplasty? A systematic review. Journal of Arthroplasty. 2015;30(1):79-85.
  23. Carpenter CR, Shelton E, Fowler S, Suffoletto B, Platts-Mills TF, Rothman RE, et al. Risk factors and screening instruments to predict adverse outcomes for undifferentiated older emergency department patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2015;22(1):1-21.
  24. Levy PT, Sanchez Mejia AA, Machefsky A, Fowler S, Holland MR, Singh GK. Normal ranges of right ventricular systolic and diastolic strain measures in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. 2014;27(5):549-60.e3.
  25. Fayanju OM, Stoll CRT, Fowler S, Colditz GA, Margenthaler JA. Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after unilateral breast cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Surgery. 2014;260(6):1000-10.
  26. Carpenter CR, Avidan MS, Wildes T, Stark S, Fowler SA, Lo AX. Predicting geriatric falls following an episode of emergency department care: A systematic review. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2014;21(10):1069-82.
  27. Marschall J, Carpenter CR, Fowler S, Trautner BW. Antibiotic prophylaxis for urinary tract infections after removal of urinary catheter: Meta-analysis. BMJ (Online). 2013;346(7914).
  28. Jungheim ES, Schon SB, Schulte MB, Deugarte DA, Fowler SA, Tuuli MG. IVF outcomes in obese donor oocyte recipients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Human Reproduction. 2013;28(10):2720-7.
  29. Fayanju OM, Stoll CRT, Fowler S, Colditz GA, Jeffe DB, Margenthaler JA. Geographic and temporal trends in the management of occult primary breast cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2013;20(10):3308-16.
  30. Carpenter CR, Sarli CC, Fowler SA, Kulasegaram K, Vallera T, Lapaine P, et al. Best evidence in emergency medicine (BEEM) rater scores correlate with publications' future citations. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2013;20(10):1004-12.
  31. Adelani MA, Keeney JA, Palisch A, Fowler SA, Clohisy JC. Has total hip arthroplasty in patients 30 years or younger improved? A systematic review hip. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 2013;471(8):2595-601.