Search requests for researchers

Are you planning on conducting a systematic review and need help with the literature search? If this is the case, contact the search request service at the University Library. We assist researchers at Karolinska Institutet in designing search strategies, conducting searches in multiple databases and creating a transparent documentation. Submit your request via our request form and we will get back to you.

The search request service is intended for researchers at Karolinska Institutet. Doctoral students who make a systematic review as part of their thesis are also welcome to order a search request.

If you are a Bachelor's or Master's student, or a doctoral student writing a literature review for the half-time summary, please book a consultation in information searching.

About the search request service

We perform search requests for researchers at KI who are about to conduct a systematic review, scoping review, or other project where a qualified literature search is necessary. Studies have shown that review articles where an information specialist is included are of higher quality when it comes to reporting search strategies. The fact that searches are performed by an information specialist in close collaboration with a subject specialist can also reduce the risk of bias, for example when choosing search terms, databases and restrictions. As a researcher, you also save time.


As a rule, two librarians are involved in each search request. We start each search request with a start-up meeting, in which we discuss the research question, limitations, keywords, choice of databases, etc. After the meeting, we run an initial test search in a database, usually MEDLINE, which we then send to you for comments, adjustments, and improvements. Once we have agreed on the search strategy in MEDLINE, we run a search in other databases as well and remove any duplicates in EndNote. We deliver a deduplicated EndNote library (or other desired format) with references and complete documentation of the search in all databases.

Prior to publication, we are happy to help update the search so that recently published research is not excluded.

Internationally, the librarian or information specialist who performs the literature search is sometimes included as a co-author. This is not something we strive for. However, we appreciate being mentioned by name in the article, for example in the acknowledgements section. We can also help formulate the text in the methods section where the literature search is described.

Search requests are free of charge for employees at Karolinska Institutet. We are currently unable to perform search requests for external clients.

Order a search request

To order a search request, please fill out our form.

Depending on our workload, time to delivery may vary. A systematic literature search takes at least two weeks.

Systematic review

If you plan to conduct a systematic review, we recommend that you:

If you are not conducting a systematic review but need guidance in searching the literature in general, or plan to start a review project in the future, feel free to book an individual consultation.

Courses in systematic reviews

Karolinska Institutet offers two doctoral courses in systematic reviews in which the search group teaches literature search methodology:

About the search group

The search group consists of librarians who regularly perform search requests, mostly in the form of systematic reviews, for employees at Karolinska Institutet. The search group follows current evidence-based practices and international guidelines, and monitors current issues in literature search methodology.

Hand in front of computer

Search requests for researchers

If you are a researcher and need help with literature searches, for example in a systematic review, please contact the search group.


Examples of publications from the last two years where the search group participated




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Last updated: 2023-11-23