Available Until 12/31/2024

Putting Evidence in the Best Light: Supporting Data Visualization in Systematic Reviews and other Evidence Syntheses (Recording)

If you work on systematic reviews or other forms of evidence synthesis, you know that conducting a rigorous, methodologically sound synthesis is only part of the challenge of a review team. The team must also be able to clearly and effectively communicate the processes and results of their work in their publications and presentations. You can increase your value as the librarian on a team by advising and educating teams on the power of data visualizations and on selecting the best visualizations and tools for their purposes.

Caitlin Bakker, a Lead Information Specialist for a Cochrane Collaboration and experienced data visualization instructor, and Erin Reardon, an experienced member of review teams and review co-author, will show you how PRISMA charts, forest plots, funnel plots, “traffic lights,” and other types of data visualizations can highlight biases, demonstrate rigor, and effectively summarize key review findings.

Through case studies, demonstrations, and activities you can do during or after the webinar, you’ll learn how to interpret common forms of data visualizations, gain knowledge needed to guide your evidence synthesis teams in selecting and implementing visualization strategies and be able to locate freely available data visualization tools that best serve a team’s goals. You’ll also increase your understanding of the evidence synthesis part of a review that happens after data extraction, when the librarian’s role typically ends.

You’ll leave the webinar with new data visualization skills and knowledge that increase your value to review teams and new confidence in your ability to advise teams on data visualizations.

This webinar is an approved elective for the Level II of the Systematic Review Services Specialization.


Learning Outcomes

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

  • Evaluate common data visualization strategies for systematic reviews
  • Develop a data visualization strategy for a systematic review
  • Describe best practices for representing the search process and the review results
  • Identify key questions to ask systematic review authors looking to visualize their processes and findings
  • Advise review teams on data visualization strategies and tools



Health sciences librarians and other information professionals who support systematic reviews and other forms of evidence synthesis.



Caitlin Bakker photoCaitlin Bakker, AHIP is the Discovery Technologies Librarian at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan. She is the Lead Information Specialist for the Cochrane Collaboration Urology Group and a subject matter expert working on systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines with the American Gastroenterological Association. She has almost a decade of experience working on systematic reviews and evidence synthesis projects, and over five years’ advising on and teaching data visualization. She has co-authored a book chapter on data visualization in evidence synthesis with Erin Reardon and has published research on systematic review quality and reporting.


Erin Reardon photoErin E. Reardon, AHIP is a Public Health Informationist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to her move south, she was a Medical School Liaison Librarian at the University of Minnesota, where the demand for systematic review services is high. She has three years of experience guiding research teams through the methodology and work of producing evidence synthesis projects. With Caitlin Bakker, she co-authored a chapter on evidence synthesis data visualization in the 2022 edition of Piecing Together Systematic Reviews and Other Evidence Syntheses: A Guide for Librarians, edited by Margeret Foster and Sarah Jewell.


Registration Information

  • Length: 1.5 hour 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.

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