Recognize Librarians as Authors on Systematic Review Publications

HSLS librarians have worked with health sciences faculty and students on dozens of systematic reviews over the years and, in acknowledgement of their scholarly contributions, have typically been included as co-authors on final manuscripts. Unfortunately, that has not always been the case for our librarian colleagues at other colleges, universities, and academic medical centers. For that reason, the Medical Library Association (MLA) and the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliotheques de la sante du Canada (CHLA/ABSC) have issued a statement asking journal editors, publishers, and guideline associations to ensure that librarians and other information professionals assisting with systematic reviews receive appropriate credit for their contributions. MLA and CHLA/ABSC encourage these groups to clarify their authorship criteria to make explicit reference to the contributions of librarians and to promote adherence to the criteria by formally endorsing the MLA/CHLA/ABSC statement. If you are a journal editor or member of a guideline association, we encourage you to read the full statement and to partner with MLA/CHLA/ABSC by becoming a formal co-signing organization.

Not familiar with how librarians can help with these complex research projects? As co-investigators, HSLS librarians can assist during the protocol development stage by looking for existing reviews on your topic and determining which databases and grey literature resources should be searched. Once the project starts, librarians will design and construct comprehensive database searches, document those searches in a transparent and reproducible format, and provide guidance on management of search results. Finally, they will assist in manuscript preparation, including development of sections on information sources and search strategies, as well as providing feedback on the entire manuscript. Visit the HSLS Systematic Review (SR) Program webpage to learn more about the HSLS SR Program and our SR librarians.

~Mary Lou Klem