Paper: Program Description Abstract

Situating Systematic Reviews and Librarians at the Nexus of Teaching and Research

Monday, May 6
4:35 PM - 4:50 PM
Room: Columbus EF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : Collaborating on systematic reviews, as well as other types of advanced reviews, situates librarians at the nexus of teaching and research. Mastering the steps in advanced reviews, including formulating clinical questions, developing comprehensive search strategies, evaluating study quality, and synthesizing results, offers rich opportunities for students to learn while participating in impactful research. This paper will present the case of a librarian-led collaboration to introduce advanced reviews campus-wide, not only to support faculty and clinician research but also to support student learning in varied formats including graduate seminars, dissertation preparation, and coursework in pharmacy, nursing, and other health professions.
Description : A librarian and nursing school administrator co-authored a successful grant to teach faculty to conduct systematic reviews. One goal was to increase use of systematic reviews in teaching graduate students. As a result, librarians partnered with faculty in health sciences and other programs to teach students how to conduct systematic and other advanced reviews. Librarians currently work with pharmacy graduate student seminars producing grant-funded systematic reviews, nursing PhD students using integrative reviews as part of a “manuscript alternative” to dissertations, educational psychology students conducting systematic review proposals for early dissertation research, and athletic training undergraduates producing and presenting critically appraised topics. The library is working with faculty to assess needs, and develop new workshops and tutorials to help students work through these processes. A roundtable for faculty using advanced reviews as a teaching method is planned to share best practices.
Conclusion : This program is ongoing. We plan to collect ideas from the faculty roundtable to develop programming to further library support for using advanced reviews in teaching. Recent library efforts have enabled faculty to make curricular changes to help students become better researchers earlier in their studies. Since these efforts began in late 2015, the university’s researchers published 39 systematic, integrative, or scoping reviews compared to eight in the previous 20 years. Graduate student researchers have had 19 manuscripts accepted or published by peer reviewed journals, another 12 manuscripts have been submitted to journals, and eleven reviews are currently in progress.

David A. Nolfi, AHIP

Head, Research Engagement, Health Sciences/STEM Initiatives & Assessment
Duquesne University, Gumberg Library
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

David Nolfi, MLS, AHIP, is the Head of Research Engagement, Health Sciences/STEM Initiatives, and Assessment at Duquesne University’s Gumberg Library. In that role, he leads the library’s efforts to support students and faculty in the health sciences, natural sciences, and engineering as well as the library’s special services for researchers.

Mr. Nolfi has been active in campus governance and committee work. He currently serves as a member of Duquesne University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and Institutional Review Board. He previously served as chair of the faculty grievance committee and co-chair of the campus learning outcomes assessment committee. He previously worked as a medical librarian with responsibility for planning and marketing continuing medical education activities at Washington Hospital in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Nolfi has been a member of the Medical Library Association (MLA) since 1995, and is a Distinguished member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. He has served MLA in many roles, including Co-Chair of the National Program Committee, Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and Chair of the Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section (NAHRS), and member of the MLA Membership Committee.

Given his interest in how librarians can participate in institutional leadership, Mr. Nolfi has presented on related topics at a number of meetings including MLA, MAC, the Association of College and Research Libraries, Library Assessment Conference, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Library Management Institute, and Pennsylvania Library Association. He believes that librarians should seek to be directly involved with faculty research and has published and presented with nursing and health professions faculty in varied publications and conferences.


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Maureen D. Sasso

Director, Information Services
Duquesne University


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Situating Systematic Reviews and Librarians at the Nexus of Teaching and Research

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