Systematic Review Information Specialist

LocationBrugg, North West Switzerland, Switzerland
Linguistics / Literature

Research and publication support for systematic searching and transparent and reproducible reporting of evidence-synthesising secondary studies

The Campus Muttenz Library, together with the University Medical Library Basel, offers a certified continuing education programme for research and publication support of systematic reviews (and related study types) at the FHNW School of Life Sciences. The CAS programme focuses on examples from various health-related fields and also draws from other disciplines wherever possible and is open to participants from all empirical disciplines. The CAS programme includes learning on how to:

  • conduct systematic literature searches
  • create transparent and reproducible reports
  • provide specific methodological advice

  • Fields of activity
  • Professional background
  • Roles
  • Differentiation from other professional groups
    Review types
  • Systematic review process
  • Guidelines and frameworks
  • Formulating a research question
  • Developing a publication/dissemination plan
  • Protocol/pre-registration
  • Evaluating the quality of studies
  • Synthesising qualitative and quantitative research results

  • Developing the search strategy
  • Selecting search tools
  • Search syntax
  • Compiling search terms
  • Using controlled vocabulary
  • Testing the search strategy

  • Auto Alerts
  • Exporting references
  • De-duplicating references
  • Screening references
  • Obtaining full texts
  • Citation searching
  • Updating the search

  • Specific guidelines, checklists
  • Analysing different types of documentation/reporting
  • Publishing your search strategy

  • Strategic approach
  • Designing the service
  • Practising support sessions
  • Curating materials

  • Using your own topic of interest
  • Process support and feedback from lecturers
  • Presenting the final thesis

The CAS programme is aimed at university graduates from all empirical disciplines. It is particularly for those in academic libraries, universities and research institutions who regularly support and/or participate in systematic review teams.

The admission criteria are defined in the programme description (see downloads).

Participants complete the CAS programme with a systematic research project in accordance with the methodological requirements (final thesis). On completion of the programme, participants will know

  • the job description of information specialists and their various roles
  • the methodological requirements (completeness, transparency, reproducibility) for conducting systematic reviews and the methodological processes involved
  • specific guidelines, frameworks and digital tools for carrying out the individual steps of systematic reviews, and be able to apply these
  • qualitative/quantitative methods for synthesising evidence and be able to carry out an independent systematic literature search in a relevant area, document it and write it up as part of a scientific publication
  • strategies for establishing and publicising the service in their institution
  • how to advise researchers on systematic reviews
  • the most important resources for following methodological developments in systematic review implementation, and thus continuously and independently expand their knowledge

The CAS programme requires around 250 hours of work, divided into:

  • 3 attendance blocks of 2[.]5 days each (Fri/Sat plus Sunday morning in January, February and June)
  • 48 online lessons (16 evenings or Saturdays with 3 lessons each, from January to June)
  • Final thesis (approx. 50-60 hours, July to December)

  • PD Dr Christian Appenzeller-Herzog (University Medical Library Basel)
  • Dr Hannah Ewald (University Medical Library Basel)
  • Dr Thomas Fürst (University Medical Library Basel)
  • Dr Heike Gerger (Department of Family Medicine, Maastricht University and Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam)
  • Dr Julian Hirt (RefHunter; Department of Clinical Research, University of Basel; OST - University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland)
  • Dr Andreas Ledl (Head of New Philologies, Economics and Educational Science, Zurich University Library)
  • Maria-Inti Metzendorf (Institute of General Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
  • Monika Wechsler (University Medical Library Basel)

The University Medical Library in Basel offers three scholarships in the amount of CHF 3,500 for participation in the CAS programme. To apply, please complete this application form and send it together with your CV to cmVzZWFyY2gtbWVkbGliQHVuaWJhcy5jaA== by October 1, 2024. You will be informed by the end of October whether or not your application has been successful.
Please note that registration slots for the CAS programme are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis (registration deadline November 22, 2024) and application for the scholarship will not reserve a registration slot for participation in the CAS programme.

The CAS Systematic Review Information Specialist programme offered excellent complementary training for my professional development from medical communications specialist to research librarian and information specialist in a university library. The combination of in-person and online class time integrated well with my work schedule. The in-class exercises and final project provided opportunities for immediate application of the skills learned during the course. Access to FHNW resources facilitated familiarization with a broad range of subject area-specific bibliographical databases. Finally, the diverse group of participants and instructors synergized to create a supportive and collaborative learning environment - what more could one want from continuing professional education?

Alisa Berger, Liaison Librarian Medicine Further testimonials
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