2020 Summer Conference: Mala Mann

The 2020 UHMLG Summer Conference is focusing on tools to help with systematic reviews. With a workshop on Thursday and presentations on Friday, it promises to be an interesting, informative and practical event. With the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the HE and NHS sectors, it’s a great value event for all health and medical librarians.

If a Rapid Review is the Solution, What is the Problem?

In recent years, rapid reviews have become increasingly popular as an efficient approach to synthesizing evidence and practical alternative to systematic reviews. There is a growing number of rapid review ‘methods’ nevertheless; there is not an accepted methodology or an agreed definition. In most rapid review methodology, some components of the systematic review process are streamlined or omitted to produce information in a timely manner. The search methods might be adjusted e.g. by reducing the number of resources searched, omitting grey literature searches, limiting searches by date, language or publication type, or limiting full-text acquisition to resources immediately available. Other options include utilising existing systematic reviews or focusing on “supplementary” approaches such as forward, backward or related citation searching.

Since rapid review methodology is evolving, this workshop session is designed to provide a basis for discussion and knowledge exchange. The objective is to provide an open forum to present and discuss rapid review search methodology developments. The workshop will be run using the ‘Knowledge Cafe’ technique with the following structure:

  1. A short overview of the spectrum of rapid reviews, potential search approaches.
  2. An exercise where participants plan a rapid review search and evaluate the pros and cons of different search methods.
  3. Discussion on issues such as: What makes a rapid search fit for purpose? What are the differences in systematic review searching, and communication with authors/clients? What guidance would be useful? What approaches, resources, and automation tools are in use among the participants?

The workshop will consist of presentations, demonstrations and discussion.

Biography: Mala Mann

Mala Mann is an Information Specialist/Systematic Reviewer based at Cardiff University’s Specialist Unit for Review Evidence (SURE). Mala has worked on a range of projects including reviews National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Welsh Government. She has co-authored over 60 publications, including several Cochrane reviews. She has particular expertise is in advanced literature searching and the development of systematic review methodologies. Mala provide support and training for staff and students and conduct workshops on advanced literature searching and critical appraisal for clinicians, students and healthcare librarians. Presently, she is involved in teaching on the Cardiff University Doctoral Academy and several MSc programmes. She is also the course lead for Cardiff University systematic review course. Current projects include conducting systematic reviews with Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre and rapid reviews to support professionals and other decision makers working in palliative care, as part of the Palliative Care Evidence Review Service (PaCERS). In addition, carrying out evidence reviews for the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.