Queen’s Joanna Briggs Collaboration Conference of the Americas – Librarian’s Day

October 13, 2016 at 8:39 am | Posted in Professional Development | Leave a comment

battenBelow is the second blog post by Janene Batten, Nursing Librarian at Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.  Thank you Janene for sharing your experiences at the Conference of the Americas.


Like many librarians across the country, the librarians in the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library have been developing a systematic review service to try to keep pace with user requests for help with conducting this type of research. Ever curious about how others are doing the same, I noticed a day dedicated especially for librarians, and the topic for discussion was systematic reviews. It was part of the “Conference of the Americas”, sponsored by Queen’s Joanna Briggs Collaboration (QJBC), being held in Kingston, Ontario.

Given the focus of the day, surprisingly only about 16 librarians came, and just two of us were from outside Canada. Maybe this shouldn’t be unexpected as it was the first time that the JBC Conference of the Americas held a day for librarians. As your delegate to this inaugural event, I’d like to share with you the presentation by Lisa Demczuk, from the University of Manitoba, entitled Players on a Team: Building Systematic Review Capacity with Librarian Involvement.

The research faculty and the librarian in the College of Nursing at the University of Manitoba undertook the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) 5-day training in view of building capacity to undertake rigorous systematic reviews. Since the training two years ago there has been a steep learning curve for all, and although lots of reviews were planned to be started, the faculty researchers limited experience in methodology, the steep learning curve, as well as competing demands meant that some reviews were seen through to completion, but on others there is a loss of momentum and halting of the process.

At the outset the librarian, although an expert searcher, was also a learner with this methodology. However she seized the opportunity to add new dimensions to her liaison role.  She described them as this

  • Expert searcher
    • although proficient, she enhanced her search strategy skills through workshops and working with peers and experts
    • became a peer reviewer of other’s searches
    • trained on specific techniques for data management for systematic reviews
  • Trainer
    • teaching advanced search strategies and specific database techniques
    • advising the steps in a systematic review to those wanting to undertake one
    • helping those doing a systematic review to stay organized
  • Coach/Troubleshooter
    • one-on-one consultations to get a review up and running, or not to get one
    • side by side searching as part of a systematic review
    • checking and reviewing the work of others
  • Resource builder
  • Writer/Reviewer
    • search strategy for the protocol
    • search strategy for the report manuscript
    • review draft of the manuscript
    • respond to comments from the editor
  • Collaborator
    • Seconded for one day per week to work on systematic reviews
    • Developed training sessions and taught with others

Lessons learned through this process:

  • define your roles and responsibilities early
  • when working with teams, in order to move forward, someone has to be in charge
  • the question and the protocol are fundamental to the smooth success of a systematic review
  • details matter – think of it like project management
  • set timelines, and stick to them
  • there will always be failures
  • share with others so that processes can be refined

As we think about whether or not we, and our library, have the capacity to take part in systematic reviews, perhaps this list can be viewed as what possible interactions we can have with the process. Perhaps there are bits where we can become actively involved, and there are parts that we don’t have time to do.  I for one found that Lisa Demczuk’s reflection of her own role to be valuable as it identifies how we can insert ourselves, and to justify the value that the librarian can bring to the process.

Other abstracts of presentations for this day can be found at http://www.queensu.ca/qjbc/qjbc-conference-americas/library-day-agenda

More about the Joanna Briggs Collaboration including the Centers in the Americas and around the world, can be found at http://joannabriggs.org/jbc.html




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