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HSLS Systematic Review Program

Notice of Pause in Service

Due to a large influx of requests and limited librarian availability, we currently are not accepting requests for assistance with systematic reviews and other types of comprehensive reviews. We anticipate that we will resume accepting requests in April 2023 - please check this page for future updates. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the HSLS Systematic Review Program ( 

Thinking About Conducting a Systematic Review? Read This First

Thinking about submitting a request for assistance with a systematic review? Please read about our requirements for submission.

Thinking About Conducting a Systematic Review? Watch These Videos First

Watch these short videos to understand the issues you'll need to think through before you undertake one of these complex and time-intensive research projects.

Setting Expectations for a Systematic Review

Determine if a Systematic Review is Feasible (part 1)

Determine if a Systematic Review is Feasible (part 2)

PowerPoint versions of part 1 and part 2 (includes clickable links to supporting materials)

How HSLS Librarians Can Help

Assistance during the development stage

  • Find existing systematic reviews on your topic

  • Recommend literature databases and grey literature sources

  • Develop search-related sections of the protocol

  • Provide recommendations on management of references

Searching expertise

  • Construct the primary literature search and translating it for use in additional databases

  • Find and use validated methodology filters

  • Save searches so they are available for updating search results


  • Save and document search strings and search strategies in accordance with PRISMA Standards

Acquisition of full text articles

  • Provide advice and guidance on accessing full text resources in University of Pittsburgh library collections

  • Advise on use of HSLS Document Delivery to obtain items not available from university collections

Inclusion as co-author on project publications

  • Planning and creating comprehensive search strategies constitutes a scholarly contribution

  • Assist in manuscript preparation, including development of sections on information sources and final search strategies

  • Provide input and recommendations on journal choice and drafts of papers and abstracts

Request Assistance with a Systematic Review

Complete this form. Please note:

  • You must submit a detailed protocol within thirty (30) days of submitting your request for assistance
  • Your protocol will be reviewed by HSLS librarians and you will likely be required to make revisions
  • The HSLS SR Program may decline a request for assistance due to limited librarian availability, concerns about project feasibility, or failure to address reviewer comments or requests for revision