Systematic & Scoping Review Service

Systematic & Scoping Review Service Request Form

  • The Systematic & Scoping Review Service is for faculty, staff and currently registered students with a University of Toronto affiliation.

  • This service is intended for knowledge synthesis type studies such as systematic reviews, scoping reviews, realist reviews, etc.  as well as grant-funded research will are intended to lead to publications. 

  • This service is not intended for assignments or course-related studies.  Students involved in assignment or course-related research are offered our consultation service where they can meet with a librarian to discuss comprehensive search strategies of the literature.

Many organization that create guidelines for or fund systematic reviews (CIHR, IOM, Cochrane) recommend, or require a librarian be a member of the research team

Rethlefsen ML, Farrell AM, Osterhaus Trzasko LC, Brigham TJ. (2015). Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology: 68(6):617-626.:


In the Systematic & Scoping Review Service, a librarian will join your research team and:

  • Create and validate the search strategies
  • Translate the search strategies into the applicable databases
  • Send the search strategies to the research team to be executed
  • Provide guidance on searching gray literature as well as citation searching
  • Write the search methodology section of the resulting publication(s)
  • Review manuscript
  • Suggest author-supplied keywords when submitting manuscript
  • Respond to peer reviewers’ comments as appropriate

In meeting the ICMJE criteria for authorship, the librarian will be included as a co-author.  The librarian may accept or decline co-authorship at their discretion.

The overall process of the Systematic & Scoping Review Service is:

Steps Timeframe (approx.)  
Librarian will acknowledge receipt of request 2 business days Systematic & Scoping Review Service Request Form
Librarian will meet with research team member(s) for initial consultation to discuss:
  • The research question
  • Search parameters (inclusion/exclusion criteria, etc.)
  • Databases to be searched
  • Responsibilities of team members
  • How search strategies will be sent to team
  • Timelines
Within 1-3 weeks of receiving request Please note there may be more than one meeting and follow-up through email, skype, etc.
Upon receipt of protocol (including PICO):
  • Create search strategies
  • Translate to other databases
  • Make recommendations on grey literature
Within 3-4 weeks from receipt of protocol  
Manuscript contribution:
  • Author sections for Methodology
  • Review final manuscript
  • Suggest author-supplied keywords
  • Respond to reviewers’ comments as appropriate
Within agreed upon timeline