Literature research & systematic reviews

Literature research for (medical) research and patient care

Writing a systematic review or searching for literature in databases and need support? The (medical) information specialists advise on and execute the literature research for systematic reviews, meta-analyses, guidelines, funding applications, PhD-research, PICOs and CATs.

Why is good literature research important?

Systematic reviews establish the ‘state-of-the-art knowledge’ of a subject to serve as a solid base for care/cure and evidence-based medicine (EBM). The scientific method to establish this knowledge is a thorough and systematic literature research, without bias, in multiple sources and as complete as possible. This method must be sensitive and must be clearly presented to be reproducible. A medical information specialist is the expert in efficiently performing this research and is indispensable in this process. See for more information on systematic searches the guidelines in the Cochrane Handbook and the Standards for systematics reviews (IoM). Evidence about the beneficial role of the information specialist in literature research can be found in research by Koffel (2015) and Rethlefsen et al. (2015).

Who are our clients?

Employees and PhD-students of VU or VUmc. Students can only use our service if the research will be published.

What can you expect from us?

  • analysis of research question 
  • resource/database selection 
  • search strategy construction 
  • logbook of search 
  • advice on bibliographic management 
  • responsibility for method
  • authoring methods-paragraph and tables of search strategies per source and co reading of manuscript

What do we expect from you?


We request co-authorship for the involved information specialist, because he/she is responsible for the research method: translation of the research question in a search strategy and the construction thereoff, documenting this in a logbook and representation of this process in the publication. The information specialist bears the responsibility to execute the research method meticulously, complete and reproducible. In executing the method the information specialist becomes co-responsible for the manuscript for the editorial board, peer reviewers and readers. To state this responsibility clearly a co-authorship is applicable.

Important information


To request an appointment, download the request form, fill it out and send it to: Please submit your request as soon as possible: there may be a waiting time of up to two weeks!

Our team of Medical Information Specialists

Hans Ket 
Johannes C.F. (Hans) Ket (coordinator literature research). Mail:
•  ResearcherID
•  LinkedIn
•  Twitter

Linda Schoonmade 
Linda J. Schoonmade Msc. Mail:
•  LinkedIn

Rene Otten 
René H.J. Otten Msc. Mail:

 Elise Jansma
Elise P. (Ilse) Jansma Msc. (coordinator education) Mail:
•  ResearcherID
•  PURE profile
•  LinkedIn
•  Twitter

Ralph de Vries 
Ralph de Vries Msc.
•  LinkedID

Published research in which we are mentioned (as per 28 August 2018): 

  • in 166 publications as co-author (2004-2018) 
  • in 77 publications with acknowledgement (2011-2018)