Systematic Reviews in Theory and Practice for Library and Information Studies


  • Sue F Phelps
  • Nicole Campbell



systematic review, research method


This article is about the use of systematic reviews as a research methodology in library and information studies (LIS). A systematic review is an attempt to gather all of the research on a given topic in order to answer a specific question. They have been used extensively in the health care field and have more recently found their way into the social sciences, including librarianship. Examples of the use of systematic reviews in LIS illustrate the benefits and challenges to using this methodology. Included is a brief description of how to conduct a review and a reading list for further information.

Author Biographies

Sue F Phelps

Sue is a Reference Librarian at Washington State University Vancouver interested in assessment for evidence-based decision making in all aspects of academic librarianship.

Nicole Campbell

Nicole is Interim Library Director at Washington State University Vancouver and is interested in user-centered services, usability, and assessment.