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**Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences Resources (PHPB): Review Assistance

Institute of Medicine Standards

According to the Institute of Medicine Standards for Systematic Reviews, the systematic review team should work with a librarian during the following steps:

  • 3.1.1 - Work with a librarian trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy
  • 3.1.2 - Design the search strategy to address each key research question
  • 3.1.3 - Use a librarian to peer review the search strategy

A librarian can help throughout the planning, conducting, and reporting phases of your systematic review. With our specialized knowledge of the systematic review process, we can save you time and confusion by providing guidance on the process and the best practices for many of the steps along the way, as well as actively helping to develop and refine your topic, create systematic literature searches of all relevant databases, search the grey literature, and provide information for your PRISMA figure and Methods section.

Description from UNC Health Sciences Library

How We Can Help

Your librarians offer a wide variety of assistance to the campus community in conducting literature reviews. Services range from Tier 1 Services, including basic consultations and trainings, to Tier 2 Services with a high level of involvement. In Tier 2, there is an expectation of authorship credit, grant funding, or the possibility of the librarian becoming involved as a review team member, depending on the level of involvement. 

To discuss your review topic, scope, and timeline, email your Public Health librarian Bethany Havas at For more information, check out our Systematic Review LibGuide.

  SR Phase SR Step Tier 1 Services Tier 2 Services
  Planning Topic Development
  • Guidance on SR process and steps
  • Background searching for current and upcoming reviews
  • Help with development or refinement of review topic
    Development of Eligibility Criteria
  • Help with refinement of PICO (population, intervention(s), comparator(s), and Key Questions
  • Guidance on study types to include
    Protocol Creation & Registration
  • Guidance on protocol registration
  Conducting Searching for Studies
  • Identification of databases for searches
  • Instruction in search techniques and methods
  • Training in bibliographic citation software use for managing and sharing search results
  • Development and execution of searches
  • Downloading search results to citation management software and removing duplicates
  • Documentation of search strategies
  • Management of search results
    Study Selection
  • Guidance on methods for study review
    Data Extraction
  • Guidance on data extraction and management programs and repositories
  Reporting Writing/Publishing
  • Suggestion of journals to target for publication
  • Drafting of literature search description in Methods section
  • Guidance and information for PRISMA figure
  • Drafting of literature search appendix
  • Review of other sections or final draft


Info and description from UNC Health Sciences Library