Information Services

Paper: Research Abstract

A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Authorship Requirements among Systematic Review Services

Monday, May 6
5:35 PM - 5:50 PM
Room: Columbus EF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Objectives : This study identifies the ways by which authorship is broached by librarians who participate in systematic reviews (SRs). Through close examination of the websites of the member institutions of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), libraries with a publicized systematic review service were identified. The institutions that describe authorship or acknowledgement were further examined and categorized.
Methods : The AAHSL member list includes 165 unique Health Sciences institutions, both foreign and domestic. Our research team thoroughly examined each member’s websites for any mention of a systematic review service (SRS). Among those libraries that did mention a SRS, websites and accompanying linked forms were re-examined for any mention of their criteria for authorship and/or acknowledgement. These “mentions" were qualitatively coded using MAXQDA to draw out themes and tiers of service. Descriptive statistics were calculated with SPSS.
Results : One hundred sixty institutions were included in this analysis. While many libraries mentioned systematic reviews as a topic, 79 (49.4%) of the AAHSL libraries mentioned a SRS. Forty-eight (61.0%) of those libraries mentioned authorship. Co-authorship was merely suggested by 7 libraries (8.8%), while 26 libraries (33.0%) mentioned co-authorship directly. Placing a librarian on the author team was mentioned by 17 institutions (21.5%) and nine SRSs (11.4 %) required co-authorship for service. Additional themes that emerged were justifications for co-authorship and the monetary costs associated with librarian participation in SRs.
Conclusions : Although the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) sets criteria that define the role of authors or non-author contributors, librarians are frequently overlooked for authorship despite making significant contributions to systematic review projects. Libraries that are establishing or revising their systematic review services can use the information from this study to identify ways to advocate authorship for their SR team.

Shenita Peterson

Public Health Informationist
Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library
Decatur, Georgia


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Hannah Rogers

Head of Information Services
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia


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A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Authorship Requirements among Systematic Review Services

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