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Structured Review Service: About

Briscoe Library Structured Review Services

Mission: The Briscoe Library's liaison librarians support evidence-based health care practice and research at UT Health San Antonio by providing guidance and expertise to those conducting structured literature reviews, such as systematic, scoping, integrative, or rapid reviews.

Service: The liaison librarians offer two tiers of support (see below). We require that review authors correctly attribute the librarian who assists them according to the level of participation.

To speak with a librarian about your structured review, please review the Get Started with a Request checklist below, then use the Service Request Form.

Other pages of this guide provide more information on structured reviews, how to get started, and a librarian's role in the process.

Get Started with a Request

  1. Develop a clearly defined research question.
  2. Select a review type appropriate for your question and desired results.
  3. Form a team of at least three reviewers. Include a statistician if conducting a systematic review or meta-analysis.
  4. Write a protocol with the team.

Structured Review FAQs

Your review question will determine the most appropriate review type. See the "Review Types" tab for more information.

The time it takes to conduct a review depends on the type of review. Most review types take at least one year.

You need:

  1. A team of at least three reviewers (including a statistician if this is a systematic review or meta-analysis)
  2. A clearly defined research question
  3. A written protocol

This is a tiered service available to UT Health San Antonio affiliates.

Tier 1

  • Open to all affiliates (students, staff, residents, faculty)
  • Includes 2-3 consultations. These consultations can be for a class, to determine feasibility of the project, or to review a search string.

Tier 2

  • Open to any faculty member working toward publication, or any Staff, Students, or Residents working with a faculty member toward publication.
  • Includes full librarian support as detailed in the box to the left.

When you are ready to get started, fill out the consultation form. We maintain a wait list.

Depending on the current load, it may be 6 weeks or longer before your project will be assigned to a librarian.

Systematic reviews are a type of research that clinicians can use to make decisions. Research begins with an a priori protocol.

Protocols are useful for all review types because they help the team understand what they want to do, how they will conduct their review prior to starting the process, and makes writing the final manuscript easier.

Additionally, some journals request protocol registry numbers for the final manuscript. It is recommended to submit the protocol and receive feedback prior to extracting data.

Tier 1 Service

This level of service is open to all UT Health San Antonio affiliates (students, staff, residents, faculty, etc.), and includes:

  • A limit of 4-5 consultations
    • For a class
    • To review and advise on database searches
    • To determine feasibility of a project

Tier 2 Service

This full featured level of service includes several comprehensive steps. This level is open to all UT Health San Antonio faculty, or affiliates working directly with a faculty member, intending to publish a final manuscript . The items below detail the role of  your assigned librarian throughout the process. At this time, we CANNOT ACCEPT requests for reviews led by outside faculty.

Initial Consult

  • Discuss team roles, the review question, and a timeline
  • Provide guidance on the research synthesis (review) process and protocol development 
  • Search for existing reviews or protocols related to the topic
  • Perform a limited initial literature search to assess feasibility

Search Development and Execution

  • Help refine the research question (PICO, etc.) 
  • Develop and refine the initial search strategy in collaboration with the team
  • Identify databases appropriate for the topic
  • Translate and execute search across all databases
  • Determine whether to search gray literature
  • Develop gray literature search
  • Assist in identifying key journals for handsearching

Citation Delivery

  • Compile and remove duplicate citations in EndNote
  • Provide initial number(s) of results for PRISMA flow diagram 
  • Transfer citations to team via EndNote export

Article Retrieval

  • Assist with obtaining "hard to find" full-text articles

Further Searching

  • Provide EndNote library for citation chaining of included articles; backward citation chaining is sometimes called ancestry searching or bibliography

Manuscript Development and Submission

  • Provide full and formatted search strategy for the appendix as required by publisher or PRISMA guidelines
  • Write and deliver manuscript sections related to the search methodology