Innovation & Research Practice

Paper: Research Abstract

The Impact of Covidence on Systematic Review Projects: Enabling Peak Performance for Researchers and Students

Monday, May 6
5:20 PM - 5:35 PM
Room: Columbus EF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Objectives : Our library has licensed an institutional subscription to Covidence, a systematic review screening tool, to help researchers and students streamline their review processes. This study 1) gauged the impact of this tool on researchers’ efficiency and collaborative efforts 2) determined whether the tool aligned with students’ needs and 3) identified the most frequent methods for learning how to use Covidence.
Methods : Setting: An academic health sciences library meeting the systematic review needs of researchers and students within six health sciences schools, a healthcare system, several institutes, and other external partners.

Population: 1,116 faculty, staff, and student researchers who registered for a Covidence account from August 2017 through August 2018.

Study Design: Cross-sectional survey design with 28 close-ended questions focused on characteristics of participants’ Covidence projects and review teams, perceptions of the tool in streamlining review processes, and training experiences, as well as one general open-ended question that allowed for additional comments.

Data Analysis: Researchers used SPSS to analyze data by groups—those who are researchers working toward publication and those who are students working on course assignments.

Research Ethics: This study was approved as exempt by the university’s Institutional Review Board.
Results : A total of 184 researchers and students completed the survey, with an overall response rate of 16.5%. Researchers primarily used Covidence for systematic reviews and found the tool helped them in their individual work a great deal (67%) or a moderate amount (24%), as well as in their teams’ ability to track progress, reduce email and meetings, and resolve conflicts (67% a great deal and 23% a moderate amount). Students used the tool most frequently for the following tasks: title/abstract screening (88%), full text screening (74%), adding/removing reviewers (70%), and importing citations (70%).
Conclusions : Overall, we found Covidence useful for researchers and students alike. Librarians can enhance the product’s usefulness by informing researchers of its capabilities within a team environment and informing students of the steps entailed in creating reviews, making the most of the settings options, and screening at the title/abstract and full text stages. Librarians considering a systematic review tool should test the tool with their user groups' needs in mind and then evaluate the tool to ensure those needs are met.

Jamie L. Conklin

Health Sciences Librarian / Liaison to the School of Nursing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Jamie Conklin, MSLIS, is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library and the liaison librarian to the School of Nursing. Her current interests include interprofessional education, scholarly communication, expert searching, and the use of evidence to inform instruction and practice.


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Sarah Towner Wright

Clinical Librarian and Graduate Medical Education Specialist
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

As the Clinical Librarian and Graduate Medical Education Specialist at the Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sarah Towner Wright, MLS, implements training for UNC Hospitals’ residents; handles patient-related information retrieval and the critical appraisal of evidence; provides expert-mediated searching and synthesized answers in response to advanced requests; provides clinical information and evidence-based practice for bedside clinical rounds; offers effective and innovative client-centered education services; and conducts individual and group consultations on information discovery, retrieval, and management. She has also played an integral role in many systematic reviews, serving as a co-author on several published systematic reviews.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Wright was a User Services Librarian with the Health Sciences Library at UNC. She was previously the Director of Information Management and Clinical Pediatrics Librarian for the UNC Department of Pediatrics, as well as the Information Services Librarian at the Health Sciences Library at UNC; the Manager of the Medical Library at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia; the Hospital Liaison/Medical Reference Librarian at the Himmelfarb Library at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; and the Health Information Specialist at the Rural Information Center Health Service (RICHS) at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, MD.


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Rebecca C. McCall, phd, AHIP

Clinical Librarian
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Rebecca McCall, MLS, AHIP is a Clinical Librarian in the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She works with research and patient care teams in UNC Health Care, supporting interprofessional practice, evidence based medicine, graduate medical education, quality improvement, and local, national, and international research. Rebecca is a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Interprofessional Education and Practice steering committee and a co-convener of the MLA Interprofessional Education SIG.


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Nandita S. Mani, AHIP

Associate University Librarian & Director, Health Sciences Library
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Nandita S. Mani, PhD
Associate University Librarian for Health Sciences & Director, Health Sciences Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Nandita S. Mani is the Associate University Librarian for Health Sciences and Director of the Health Sciences Library
As AUL & Director, Mani oversees one of the nation’s leading health affairs libraries. The UNC Health Sciences Library (HSL) is the primary library for the University’s schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. It also serves the UNC Medical Center and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC), a statewide program for clinical education and health services.

She provides leadership and general administration of the HSL, which includes leading a workforce of over 55 FTE, oversight of a budget with annual expenditures of approximately $8 million, planning and policy formulation around collection development programs, facilities, infrastructure, technology innovation, cooperative activities, and outreach to the five Health Affairs schools and the hospital. She participates in fundraising and revenue development including contracts, grants, and other sources. In addition, participates in university-wide programs and committees and represents the library system regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is also an active member of the UNC International Affairs Advisory Committee.

Mani is also serving a 10 yr term as Managing Editor for Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, is an Assistant Editor for Consumer Health on the Internet, and has published in the areas of information science and instructional design and technology. Her grants participation spans the areas of chronic kidney disease, technological innovation integration, and online learning.


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Elizabeth Moreton

Clinical Librarian
UNC Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Elizabeth Moreton, MLS is a Clinical Librarian supporting nursing and several specialties in the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC. Beth’s previous publications & presentations include works on information literacy in nursing students, process improvement for reference services, instructional effectiveness, systematic review tool evaluation, and now, process improvement for systematic reviews. She is an advocate for student-centered librarianship, reducing library anxiety, and having a little fun.


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Mary White

Global Public Health Librarian
UNC Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina


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The Impact of Covidence on Systematic Review Projects: Enabling Peak Performance for Researchers and Students

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