69 - Librarians as Methodological Peer Reviewers for Journal Systematic Review Submissions

Monday, May 21
2:30 PM – 3:25 PM

Objectives: This study investigated librarian involvement in the peer review process of biomedical journals. Specifically, how frequently are librarians asked to review the methodologies of systematic review manuscripts? Librarians and information professionals have significant skills to bring to peer reviewing the search methodologies of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) submitted to journals. We hypothesize that they could play a more significant role in peer review. Increased librarian involvement in peer review could lead to improved searches and greater compliance with recommended standards.

A Qualtrics survey was developed to capture current experiences of medical librarians involved in the peer review process of SR submissions to journals. The 16-question survey was pilot tested with a group of medical librarians and reviewed by a methodological expert. The survey was distributed through a variety of listservs in March 2018.

There were 300 acceptable surveys.

Preliminary results from the survey indicated that 22% (n=63) of the respondents had been asked by a journal editor to peer review SR or MA manuscripts. Of those who replied that they had not already been asked, 42% (n=122) would peer review and 32% (n=93) might peer review a manuscript. Only 3% (n=9) would not review a manuscript if asked. The median number of SR or MA manuscripts that respondents had reviewed was 4 and the range was from 1 to 40.
Respondents peer reviewed manuscripts for 38 unique journals and the journal title most frequently mentioned was PLoS One.

Most respondents (n=31) knew why they were asked to peer review. The most frequent reason given was because of their professional expertise. Other reasons included referral by a colleague and expertise in the topic area.

Respondents who had ‘rejected or recommended a revision of a manuscript’ based their decision on the ‘search methodology’ (n=36), ‘search write-up’ (n=29), and ‘entire article’ (n=24). Those who selected ‘other’ (n=12) provided a variety of reasons for rejection: the PRISMA flow diagram; tables of included, excluded, and ongoing studies; data abstraction; inconsistent/incomplete reporting; pooling methods; and bias.

Of those respondents who had declined a request to peer review a SR or MA (n=24), the most frequently given reason was ‘not enough time’ (n=12) followed by ‘lack of expertise’ (n=10). Other reasons for declining the request were the journal’s impact factor and a lack of interest.

systematic reviews,
peer review,
journal editorial policies,
manuscript submission

Holly K. Grossetta Nardini

Associate Director
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, Connecticut

Holly Grossetta Nardini has worked at Yale University for 20 years, both at Sterling Memorial Library and the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, where she currently serves as Associate Director. She provides leadership and vision for the library and oversees clinical information services, technology and innovation initiatives, research and education services, and collection development. In between stints in New Haven, she worked twice in Italy, first serving as Public Services Librarian at the Bologna campus of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and later telecommuted from Rome to Yale and she has a strong interest in international librarianship. She was selected as a National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow in 1996-97. At Yale, she has served as as the Service Quality Improvement Director, the inaugural Coordinator of Liaison Activities, and as the Coordinator of Expert Search Services, while also providing research and education support to the Departments of Radiology, Ob/Gyn, Ophthalmology, and Pediatrics and the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing. Throughout her career, Holly has blazed trails in positions that were innovative and offered new services in a digital age. She is also proud of her contributions to evidence-based medical literature as a member of many systematic review teams and as the co-creator of the Yale MeSH Analyzer.

Fanny Duprilot

Assistant to the Head
Collection Development and Management
Paris, Ile-de-France, France

Kate Nyhan

Research and Education Librarian
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, CT

Rolando Garcia Milian

Biomedical Research Support Librarian
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, Connecticut

Lei Wang

Assistant Director, Technology and Innovation Services
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, Connecticut

Lei Wang, MLS, is Instructional Design Librarian at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Yale University School of Medicine.

Judy M. Spak

Assistant Director, Research and Education Services
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, Connecticut

Judy Spak is Assistant Director, Research and Education Services, Yale School of Medicine, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, New Haven, CT

Melissa Funaro

Clinical Librarian
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, Connecticut

As a Clinical Librarian at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale, I serve as a liaison to several clinical departments as well as to medical students. In this role, the goal is to fulfill the information needs of my constituents, which include; students, staff, clinicians, faculty, and residents. Whether it is to provide a comprehensive search for a systematic review, a consultation for a literature search, or to provide a workshop on how to search PubMed, create a Qualtrics survey, or use EndNote to manage citations, I am honored to work with our current and future healthcare professionals.

In addition to my work as a liaison, I also serve as chair of the Marketing Committee, I work with Wellness at Yale to provide wellness activities to our patrons, and I serve on the IACUC committee at Yale.

Janene Batten

Nursing Librarian
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, Connecticut

Janene Batten, MLS, is the Nursing Librarian for the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale University.
She has extensive experience teaching evidence-based research principles to nursing students through course-integrated instruction. She currently works with nursing faculty, as well as graduate and doctoral students, assisting them with all aspects of their research. The Medical Library is the library for the Yale-New Haven Hospital, and often Janene can be found helping clinical nurses discover evidence in support of their practice.

Janis Glover

Research and Education Librarian
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
New Haven, Connecticut