A competency framework for librarians involved in systematic reviews

J Med Libr Assoc. 2017 Jul;105(3):268-275. doi: 10.5195/jmla.2017.189. Epub 2017 Jul 1.


Objective: The project identified a set of core competencies for librarians who are involved in systematic reviews.

Methods: A team of seven informationists with broad systematic review experience examined existing systematic review standards, conducted a literature search, and used their own expertise to identify core competencies and skills that are necessary to undertake various roles in systematic review projects.

Results: The team identified a total of six competencies for librarian involvement in systematic reviews: "Systematic review foundations," "Process management and communication," "Research methodology," "Comprehensive searching," "Data management," and "Reporting." Within each competency are the associated skills and knowledge pieces (indicators). Competence can be measured using an adaptation of Miller's Pyramid for Clinical Assessment, either through self-assessment or identification of formal assessment instruments.

Conclusions: The Systematic Review Competencies Framework provides a standards-based, flexible way for librarians and organizations to identify areas of competence and areas in need of development to build capacity for systematic review integration. The framework can be used to identify or develop appropriate assessment tools and to target skill development opportunities.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Librarians*
  • Professional Competence*
  • Review Literature as Topic*
  • Search Engine