Available Until 12/31/2024

Planning for Systematic Review Success: Reference Interview & Protocol Development (Recording)

Margaret Foster & Whitney Townsend, two nationally-recognized experts on the systematic review process, will show you how to plan for a successful review. 

Margaret Foster will introduce you to the systematic review reference interview. You’ll learn how to use the interview to manage expectations, ensure proper librarian integration into the review process, educate teams on appropriate review questions and designs, assess if a team has adequate resources and is ready to do a review, and begin an initial scoping search process.

Whitney Townsend will show you how to work with a team to develop and register a review protocol that meets standards for a particular review design, and how to use a protocol to inform your search and the reporting work over the course of the project.

You’ll leave the webinar with the skills you’ll need to start a review team on the path to a successful review!

This course is required for Level I of the Systematic Review Searching Specialization.


Medical librarians and other health information professionals who are beginning to be or are already involved in systematic review or evidence synthesis projects.

Learning outcomes 

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Determine the readiness of a team to undertake a systematic review 
  • Negotiate involvement in a systematic review project
  • Detail the process of developing and testing scoping searches
  • Explain protocol standards and registration process



Margaret Foster photoMargaret Foster, is the Director of the Center for Systematic Reviews and Research Synthesis and a Professor at Texas A&M University–College Station. She has published more than sixty publications applying or describing systematic review methods. She is the co-editor of Assembling the pieces of a systematic review: a guide for librarians.

Whitney TownsendWhitney A. Townsend, MLIS is an Informationist in the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan. She has been a member of numerous systematic and scoping review teams, instructs on systematic review searching and methodology for residents, fellows, and faculty, and is an instructor for the University of Michigan systematic review workshop funded by the NNLM Greater Midwest Region, “Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians.” She led the development and publication of a set of competencies for librarians involved in systematic reviews that was awarded the 2018 MLA Ida and George Eliot Prize.

Registration Information

  • Length: 1.5 hour recorded webinar
  • Technical information: After you have registered, go to My Learning in MEDLIB-ED to access the live webinar, resources, evaluation, and certificate.
  • Register, participate, and earn 1.5 MLA continuing education (CE) contact hours.

MLA CE: 1.5

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