Making the case for librarian expertise to support evidence synthesis for the sustainable development goals

Kate Ghezzi-Kopel, Jessica Ault, Gracian Chimwaza, Florian Diekmann, Erin Eldermire, Nasra Gathoni, Julie Kelly, Alison Annet Kinengyere, Megan Kocher, Edda Tandi Lwoga, Jessica Page, Sarah Young, Jaron Porciello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Evidence syntheses that engage librarians as co-authors produce higher-quality results than those that do not. Trained as teachers, researchers, and information managers, librarians possess expert knowledge on research methodologies and information retrieval approaches that are critical for evidence synthesis. Researchers are under increasing pressure to produce evidence syntheses to inform practice and policymaking. Many fields outside of health science and medicine, however, do not have established guidelines, processes, or methodologies. This article describes how librarians led the creation of an interdisciplinary toolkit for researchers new to evidence synthesis. The implementation of the tools, including a protocol, supported eight evidence syntheses focused on effective agricultural interventions published in a special collection in Nature Research in October 2020. This article is a step-by-step overview of the tools and process. We advocate that librarian collaboration in evidence synthesis must become the norm, not the exception. Evidence synthesis project leads without access to a qualified librarian may use this toolkit as a point of entry for production of transparent, reproducible reviews.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalResearch Synthesis Methods
Issue number1
Early online dateSep 25 2021
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grant/Award Number: OPP1210352; Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ Germany) Funding information

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the funding of this research was provided by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ Germany) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation OPP1210352 for the project Ceres2030: Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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