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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.

General Overview of Services

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 faculty, students and staff are eligible for Brown School Library systematic review services.  

If you are collaborating with others who are not affiliated with Brown School, please note that at least one member of the systematic review team must be currently affiliated with Brown School (does not include alumni or former staff/faculty). The Brown School member of your team must also be willing to be the primary contact for the project. 

What we require from you

Before collaborating with you on your systematic review project, we ask that you provide the following:

  • Preliminary Search: The goals of the preliminary search include: identifying existing reviews, assessing volume of potentially relevant studies (assume an exhaustive search will identify about 2-3 times the number located in a preliminary search), locate at least 2-5 example articles that meet your review criteria.
  • Your research question
  • Question in PICO format
  • List of inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • A minimum of 3 example articles (benchmark articles) that meet the inclusion criteria for your systematic review
  • A timeline/schedule for completion of the systematic review project
  • The purpose / end goal of your systematic review - class assignment, research center project, grant application, conference presentation, publication, etc...


Once you have this information ready, please:

1. Complete a Systematic Review Assistance Request Form.  

2. Schedule a 1:1 with Lori Siegel

Your First Systematic Review Meeting

At your first meeting we will...

  • Review the form you submitted and provide clarification and assistance with changes, if necessary, to help you meet your goal
  • Start a Literature Search Tracking form with you that, when used properly, will help you write your methods regarding how you designed and conducted your search 
  • Recommend which databases will work best for the topic of your review
  • Demonstrate how to create a thorough and reproducible search strategy in one database for one concept in your question 
  • Discuss the best citation management system to use for your needs
  • Answer any questions you may have

After our first meeting, you are welcome to request help throughout your systematic review process. If your search fails to perform as expected, we can look for logic and syntax errors in your search strategy. Send us your reproducible search strategy, either in the body of your email or in an attachment. 

Brown School Systematic Review Service Forms and Instructions