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Evidence Synthesis Team Searching & Review Clinics: Frequently Asked Questions


Who can help with my query?

When booking an appointment you will need to state who you want to see.  In order to help you make that decision, here are some general areas that we can help with:

Information specialist – informing search strategies, using Endnote as your reference library, managing your references, searching databases effectively, using local resources.

Reviewer – developing your protocol, describing the systematic review process, guidance on screening, data extraction and quality assessment (critical appraisal) and synthesis.


Can I book more than one appointment at a time?

You may book a maximum of 2 appointments per clinic date: one with an Information Specialist and one with a Systematic Reviewer.  This decision has been taken to allow the team to handle ad hoc queries in as timely a manner as possible.  Additional appointments booked by, or on behalf of, the same person on any one day will be declined.  You may, however, book follow-up appointments at future clinics: please check with the member of staff you see at your initial clinic appointment whether they would advise this.


I would like some advice on searching, but am not undertaking a systematic review.  May I book an appointment?

The clinics are specifically aimed at addressing systematic review-related queries.  If you are not planning to do a systematic review then a clinic appointment is unlikely to be the best use of your time, especially as there is often a significant wait for an available appointment. General searching advice can be obtained from either of the University libraries (Plymouth, Exeter) and there is a helpful guide here.  There are also useful slides and information on the Information Specialist Team and Evidence Synthesis Team pages. Answers to many of the common questions we help with in the clinics can be found on our blog together with links to useful resources such as the Cochrane Handbook (chapters 5-12) and Centre for Reviews and Dissemination.


The clinic dates displayed on the website are not convenient for me.  Can I book an appointment outside these times?

The clinics were established in order to help to manage the large number of ad hoc queries the Evidence Synthesis Team receives.  Regrettably, therefore, it is not possible to book an appointment to see someone other than at the designated times set aside for this. 


What are my transport/parking options?

Clinics will be held either in South Cloisters at the University of Exeter's St Luke's Campus, or in the ITTC Building at Plymouth Science Park, unless otherwise advertised.  

South Cloisters: Please click here for directions and travel information: South Cloisters is marked no. 11 on the St Luke's Campus map.  Please note that visitor parking at St Luke's is extremely limited: we suggest that visitors staying for less than 4 hours use the Triangle pay-and-display car park, or the short-term on-street parking available in the following nearby roads: College Road; Spicer Road; Denmark Road; Athelstan Road; Barnfield Hill.  Please observe the distinction between resident-only spaces and public spaces if parking in one of these areas.

Plymouth Science Park: Please click here for directions and travel information. A map of the Science Park can be found here.  On arrival, please report to the main Reception, marked 1 on the map, and ask to be directed to Room N14/PenCLAHRC offices.  There is limited parking for visitors to Plymouth Science Park at point A; please obtain a permit from the Reception Desk to display in your car.  We regret that we are unable to reserve spaces. It is recommended that visitors use the Park and Ride service to Derriford Hospital if at all possible.


Who can I contact with any questions about the booking process?

Please email the PenCLAHRC admin team.

Upcoming Events


Searching and Review Clinic

ITTC Building, Plymouth (Cafe area: please go to Reception on arrival where a member of the team will meet you)

These clinics have been set up to help the PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team to manage and respond...
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PPI Advice Clinic

South Cloisters, St Luke's Campus, University of Exeter

Patient and Public Involvement Advice Clinics Held every month 30 minutes between 12pm-1pm Whatever your query, from finding...
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PenCLAHRC successful in application to become a designated and funded NIHR Applied Research Collaboration

11 July 2019

PenCLAHRC are delighted to be able to announce success in their bid to become a funded...
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Job opportunity - Senior Research Fellow/Associate Professor

10 July 2019

The Community and Primary Care Research Group within the Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences...
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Professor Tamsin Ford awarded CBE for services to psychiatry

17 June 2019

Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Exeter Medical School...
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Research Projects

Social Prescribing - Understanding what works in, and supporting provision of, nature - based therapeutic interventions for people with an identifiable mental illness

Theme: Healthy People, Healthy Environments

We have been awarded funding from DEFRA to identify what works in the use of...
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Social Prescribing - Cornwall and Plymouth Researcher in Residence

Theme: Healthy People, Healthy Environments

Evaluation work by a Researcher in Residence to assess implementation, reach, scope and acceptability of...
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Research Projects