The University Libraries provides evidence synthesis support to CMU students, researchers and staff. Evidence synthesis includes methods such as systematic reviews and meta-analyses, scoping reviews, systematic mapping reviews, rapid reviews and other systematic or structured approaches to literature reviews. For more information about evidence synthesis methods, visit our evidence synthesis research guide.

How can the Libraries help?

Librarians trained in evidence synthesis methods can provide support in many stages of the review process. For example, we can:

  • Provide guidance on which methodology best suits your research goals
  • Recommend databases and other information sources for searching
  • Design and implement comprehensive and reproducible database-specific search strategies 
  • Provide guidance and training on software for article screening including Covidence, Rayyan and SysRev
  • Assist in the use of citation management software for deduplication of records
  • Offer best practices for the documentation and reporting of searches
  • Offer guidance on performing comprehensive literature reviews for IACUC protocols, grant proposals, or evidence-based guidelines

Depending on the level of involvement, librarians can serve in either a consulting capacity, or can be a collaborator and co-author on your published review.


As a consultant on your review, we can provide:

  • Background information on evidence synthesis methods
  • Guidance on databases and information sources to search (including gray literature)
  • Guidance on designing comprehensive, reproducible searches
  • Recommendations about citation management and screening software
  • Peer-review of your search strategy
  • Guidance on documentation and reporting


As a co-author, we can:

  • Assist with question refinement and decisions about methodological approach
  • Select databases and gray literature sources for searching
  • Design, run and manage database and gray literature searches
  • Assist with deduplication across sources and preparation of the screening project
  • Advise and train the research team on screening methods and software
  • Provide reproducible documentation of the searches for publication
  • Write the search and retrieval portion of the methods section of the paper


To set up an initial consultation about your evidence synthesis project, please fill out this form:

  Submit a Consultation Request