Available Until 10/21/2024

Essential Searching Skills for Librarians on Systematic Review Teams - October 2024

Dates of Live Instructor-Led Sessions: October 21 & October 28, 2024, 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., central time.

If you will be part of a systematic review team--or if you already do systematic review searches and want to hone your skills--this is the searching course for you!

You’ll leave the course with the marketable skills needed to become an essential and confident member of a systematic review team.

The course will take you through the systematic review searching process, from confirming the need for a review and identifying appropriate databases to creating search strategies and documenting and reporting searches using PRISMA-S. PubMed is the primary database used in the course.

The heart of the course is developing an extensive, effective, systematic, translatable, and replicable search strategy to address a research question. You’ll receive feedback on searches during the live session and after the session via Slack.

You’ll also learn how to conduct a reference interview to properly define a topic and how to translate a topic into effective search concepts. And you’ll be able to identify components of the search peer review process that have become standard in the searching community of practice.

You’ll start the course with readings and reflection questions available upon registration, and you’ll have homework and discussion questions between sessions and opportunities for discussion and questions during and after the second session.

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

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Conduct a preparatory reference interview
  • Perform preliminary searches for key articles and previous publications
  • Select databases and other resources appropriate to a research question
  • Build an extensive, effective, systematic, and replicable search strategy for each resource appropriate to a research question
  • Describe and document planned searches and methods
  • Review search strategies under development using the PRESS (Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies) rubric


Medical librarians and other health information professionals who work on or support systematic reviews. Participants should be familiar with what systematic reviews are and want to offer them as a service. Participants should have experience with basic searching.


Carrie Price PhotoCarrie Price is a Health Professions Librarian at Towson University's Albert S. Cook Library. She was previously a clinical medical librarian at the Johns Hopkins University/Medical Institutions' Welch Medical Library. Carrie has strong interests in user-centered and instructional design, evidence-based practice and evidence-syntheses, and interprofessional education. She is a co-author on numerous publications, including over 30 systematic reviews and other evidence syntheses. She is an avid Tweeter at @carrieprice78.


David Farris PhotoDavid Farris is a Research Services Librarian at the Research Medical Library of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he provides expert literature searching, reference, and educational services. His interests include database systems, information retrieval and description, and information literacy. David worked previously at Johns Hopkins University’s Milton S. Eisenhower Library.


Rachel LeboRachael Lebo is the Clinical Services Librarian at Wegner Health Sciences Library, University of South Dakota. She provides services and assistance in knowledge translation, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement research projects to medical and health sciences students and clinical nurses. Lebo previously worked as an informationist at the Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University, where she provided service for the information needs of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Kennedy Krieger Institute.

MLA CE Credits: 5