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Screening for studies in systematic reviews, scoping reviews, and other knowledge syntheses: strategies for improvement Online

Participants must register on EVE using UTORid login. 

Event URL


Have you ever experienced challenges when screening for studies in a systematic review, a scoping review, or other knowledge synthesis study? Join this session to learn strategies on improving your screening process and working better on a review team.  

Learning Objectives 

In this session, participants will be able to: 

  • Recognize the importance of alignment when screening using the eligibility criteria developed in the protocol phase. 
  • Understand the importance of asking clarifying questions with the PI and review members to perform better screening. 
  • Describe the characteristics and importance of a well-defined eligibility (inclusion/exclusion) criteria. 
  • Identify issues and challenges associated with the study screening process. 
  • Discuss strategies to reduce screening conflicts and increase screening accuracy for first and second level of screening. 

This workshop will NOT cover: 

  • Strategies for methods and review types other than knowledge syntheses (ex. literature or narrative reviews) 
    • The following knowledge syntheses cycle steps: 
    • How to search for studies 
    • How to abstract data from studies 
    • How to synthesize studies 

You will get the most out of this workshop if you understand:  

  • The methods and steps for your knowledge synthesis review type (systematic review, scoping review, rapid review, etc.) 
  • How to develop a focused research question and objective. 
  • What a protocol is and have developed one for a knowledge syntheses review. 
  • What inclusion and exclusion criteria are, screening conflicts, and what first and second level of screening is. 

Note: Strategies learned in this workshop can be applied to any knowledge syntheses study in both the first level of screening (title and abstract) and second level of screening (full-text). 


Learning Outcomes


By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:  

  • Assess the alignment of eligibility criteria to the screening process in their own reviews. 
  • Develop well-defined eligibility criteria for the study screening process. 
  • Understand how screening guidance can be applied to any knowledge syntheses review.
  • Integrate screening guidance strategies into a knowledge synthesis project, including screening software solutions. 

Patricia Ayala, Research Services Librarian 

  • Patricia has worked on the development of the Systematic and Scoping Review Service (SSRS) at Gerstein Science Information Centre, focused on collaborating with faculty and researchers engaged in systematic, scoping and other types of method-driven literature reviews. Patricia’s portfolio includes building and deepening relationships with faculty, staff, students and other researchers, on campus, within research institutes, teaching hospitals,  and national and international organizations.  She was part of the team that developed PRISMA-Search a guideline on how to report literature searches.  She has degrees in Biology and Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina, and Master in Information and Library Studies from the University of Toronto. 


Amanda Yang, M.I. 

  • Amanda supports the instruction, research, and consultations of systematic and scoping reviews at Gerstein Science Information Centre, serving researchers, graduate students, librarians, and faculty staff in the University of Toronto community. She is also involved in a team developing a COVID-19 Information Guide providing emerging research literature & data, government resources, key information for the general public and more. She has a bachelor’s degree in Justice, Political Philosophy & Law from McMaster University and currently studying a Masters of Information concentrating in Critical Information Policy at the University of Toronto’s iSchool. 

Related LibGuide: Knowledge syntheses: Systematic & Scoping Reviews, and other review types by Ask Gerstein!

Thursday, February 25, 2021
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
St. George (Downtown) Campus
This is an online event. Event URL: https://cris.eve.utoronto.ca/home/events/1263

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Ask Gerstein!

Gerstein Science Information Centre

9 King's College Circle

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