Riding the Wave: Systematic Review Support in Healthcare and Beyond – Kathryn Devine, Giada Zanella, Erin Bloxsidge and Louise Speakman. Summer Conference 2024.

Kathryn Devine (Worcester), Giada Zanella (Aston), Erin Bloxsidge (Surrey), and Louise Speakman (Lancaster).


The support demands on information professionals from students and researchers undertaking systematic reviews is increasing, and the disciplines in which such reviews are being undertaken is widening. As such, more librarians and information specialists are becoming involved in providing guidance in an area in which they may not have extensive formal training.

A discussion during the Systematic Review Conversations series sparked the creation of the Self-Taught SRs Community of Practice (CoP). This initiative, originally intended for information professionals, early-career researchers, and healthcare staff, has grown into a nationwide and international resource for all information professionals.

The CoP’s founders, representing four separate national institutions within the Higher Education (HE) sector, share a passion for supporting those involved with systematic reviews. Notably, their expertise stems from a combination of self-directed learning and the limited formal training available in this area.

With over 200 members joining in just four months, the CoP is clearly addressing a gap in support. This rapid growth signifies a growing demand for collaboration and knowledge-sharing in this field. The CoP fosters a supportive learning environment where members can contribute freely, regardless of the complexity of their question. Here, everyone’s input is valued, creating a safe space for professional development.


Louise Speakman (she/her) is Head of Library Engagement, Lancaster University.As a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Louise has spent the last 3 years at Lancaster University drawing from 15 years of experience in various roles within the education sector, including a liaison librarian, teaching and learning fellow, and an Information Specialist. Louise has a particular interest in accessible information literacy teaching and is committed to continuous improvement and empowerment.

Outside of work Louise is knee deep in a campervan conversion project!

Erin Bloxsidge: (she/her) is the Faculty Librarian for Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey. In addition to faculty liaison and collection development, she provides research skills support to academic staff and PhD students, including guidance on systematic search approaches for evidence syntheses. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has recently completed the Medical Library Association’s Systematic Review Service Specialisation (SRSS) Level 1.

Kathryn Devine is Academic Liaison Librarian for the Schools of Psychology and Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester.

Giada Zanella, ‌(she/her) is the Library Information Specialist for the Health and Life Science College at Aston University, Birmingham. She delivers information literacy and research skills support to students, staff and researchers in the College. She has particular interest in systematic and other review methodologies.

Summer Conference 2024: Learn Long and Prosper

UHMLG’s 2024 Summer Conference brings together a range of fantastic speakers to look at the future of health librarianship. The conference is taking place in person at the University of Lancaster and spans two half days (4-5 July, 2024). Our core audience is UK / Republic of Ireland health and medical librarians from the Higher Education and NHS / health sectors, but we welcome delegates from any area of librarianship, and from anywhere in the world.

More information / Book your place

For full information about the conference, and to book your place, please visit our Summer Conference 2024 page.