More than Expert Searchers! How librarians are positioned to improve quality and reduce waste through knowledge-synthesis service standards




Poster session 2 Thursday: Evidence synthesis - methods / improving conduct and reporting


Thursday 14 September 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00


All authors in correct order:

Lenton E1, Ayala P1
1 Gerstein Science Information Centre, University of Toronto, Canada
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Erica Lenton

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: At the 23rd Cochrane Colloquium, we presented on a fledgling initiative at the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) to develop a sustainable set of service standards in order to clarify roles and tasks performed by librarians involved with knowledge-synthesis (KS) research. We presented the preliminary results of a broad scan of service standards that existed at UTL and proposed that librarians start a conversation on what librarians' experiences have been so far in these type of initiatives. In the 2 years since Vienna, librarians have continued to be strong activists for their role on KS teams — not only as expert searchers but also as advocates for proper reporting and reduction of research waste. As this movement continues to gain momentum, UTL’s initiative has evolved into the Knowledge Synthesis Service (KSS).
Objectives:To present an update on international efforts by librarians to clarify and advocate for their roles on KS teams. We will describe: 1) the range of library KS services; 2) how librarians advocate for proper KS reporting; and 3) service guidelines that libraries have put in place to regulate KS support. We will comment on how the service standards set by UTL’s KSS was informed by the ongoing work of the medical librarianship community, as well as how overarching efforts to reduce research waste fueled the development and goals of the KSS. Methods: A narrative review was conducted. We searched OVID Medline, selected journals, conference abstracts, and library websites for information describing the roles, activities, or service standards related to how libraries support KS. A data-extraction form was iteratively developed and information from each source was extracted: 1) bibliographic 2) service information 3) advocacy information. Qualitative content analysis was used to describe key messaging relating to how libraries support KS. Results:The results of this review are ongoing and will be presented at the Global Evidence Summit. Conclusions: Librarians are strategically positioned to improve KS quality, not only by creating reproducible, comprehensive search strategies, but also by raising awareness for reporting guidelines.