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EST workshop collaboration with CLAHRC North Thames

Posted on May 29th 2018

Members of the Evidence Synthesis Team (EST) have recently travelled to London to collaborate with CLAHRC North Thames on their ‘Beyond Searching’ Course.

Alison Bethel, Morwenna Rogers, and  Rebecca Abbot coordinated with Antonio Rojas–Garcia to deliver the workshop to 19 librarians from the NHS and various universities.

Beyond Searching was devised 5 years ago, and members of the EST have been running annual workshops ever since. It was designed to show health information professionals that they already have the skills to effectively contribute to systematic reviews, and to give them the confidence to get involved in the processes and to advise others. 

 ‘Librarians and other information professionals are highly skilled and motivated individuals with a drive to learn about new technologies and ways of working. They already have the skills needed to contribute to systematic reviews so our course is more about how they apply those skills.


‘It is always a joy to teach this workshop – often we learn a lot ourselves in the process – and it was particularly good this time to get the chance to collaborate with colleagues from CLAHRC North Thames.’

- Morwenna

This was the second year that the course followed a flipped classroom model, which Alison and Rebecca learned about during their visit to the University of Michigan two years ago. The model frees up classroom time for discussions and active learning, by making some of the foundation lectures and reading material available to participants in advance.

Attendees were asked to complete a series of online tasks prior to the course, which introduced them to key concepts of systematic reviewing and comprehensive searching. This enabled attendees to focus on more detailed aspects of search techniques during the workshop.

Guest speaker Claire Stansfield from the EPPI-Centre was also invited to discuss the use of automation (employing machines, computers, or robots to help researchers identify relevant papers), and its implication for reviews in the future.

The beyond searching team were delighted with the positive feedback they received. One attendee said that it was:

 “The best training I have ever attended”

Another attendee planned to use the knowledge she had gained to change practice in her own place of work, and another thought that the flipped classroom model was excellent preparation for the face to face teaching day. 

Dr Rojas – Garcia has praised the cross CLAHRC co-operation behind the delivery of this workshop, remarking:

‘It was great to spend the day collaborating with colleagues from PenCLAHRC. I considered it a very positive experience, it has been really encouraging to see how other colleagues teach about systematic reviews.’

To read more about the Beyond Searching workshop in collaboration with CLAHRC North Thames, visit the EST blog.

For more information about other seminars and workshops from the Evidence Synthesis Team, visit our events pages.