Evidence Synthesis Service

Evidence Synthesis Service

The University Libraries provides evidence synthesis support to CMU students, researchers and staff. Evidence synthesis includes methods such as systematic reviews and meta-analyses, scoping reviews, systematic mapping reviews, rapid reviews and other systematic or structured approaches to literature reviews.

Getting Started


Submit a Consultation Request



How can the Libraries help?

Librarians trained in evidence synthesis methods can provide support in many stages of the review process. For example, we can:

  • Provide guidance on which methodology best suits your research goals
  • Recommend databases and other information sources for searching
  • Design and implement comprehensive and reproducible database-specific search strategies 
  • Provide guidance and training on software for article screening including Covidence, Rayyan and SysRev
  • Assist in the use of citation management software for deduplication of records
  • Offer best practices for the documentation and reporting of searches
  • Offer guidance on performing comprehensive literature reviews for IACUC protocols, grant proposals, or evidence-based guidelines


Depending on the level of involvement, librarians can serve in either a consulting capacity, or can be a collaborator and co-author on your published review.

As a consultant on your review, we can provide:

  • Background information on evidence synthesis methods
  • Guidance on databases and information sources to search (including gray literature)
  • Guidance on designing comprehensive, reproducible searches
  • Recommendations about citation management and screening software
  • Peer-review of your search strategy
  • Guidance on documentation and reporting


As a co-author, we can:

  • Assist with question refinement and decisions about methodological approach
  • Select databases and gray literature sources for searching
  • Design, run and manage database and gray literature searches
  • Assist with deduplication across sources and preparation of the screening project
  • Advise and train the research team on screening methods and software
  • Provide reproducible documentation of the searches for publication
  • Write the search and retrieval portion of the methods section of the paper



Primary Contact(s)



Manage Information & Data

Work with our specialists to evaluate, select, and implement the tools to organize your data and keep your project on track.