The International Journal of Health Governance and Librarians as Methodological Peer-Reviewers

International Journal of Health Governance

Since 2020 the International Journal of Health Governance (IJHG) has been working with a group of medical/health care librarians and information specialists who have expertise in systematic reviews. They were invited to be methodological peer-reviewers for evidence synthesis manuscripts (systematic, scoping, mapping, and rapid evidence reviews). 

The IJHG editor and one of the methodological peer-reviewers recently co-authored the research paper ‘Librarians and information specialists as methodological peer-reviewers: a case-study of the International Journal of Health Governance’, which was published in the Research Integrity and Peer Review ( This case-study analyzes the impact of methodological peer-reviewers on the peer-review process. The study looked at the differences in comments from methodological peer-reviewers (MPRs) and subject peer-reviewers (SPRs); differences in the implementation of their recommendations; impact on editorial decision-making; and the perceived utility of librarian peer-review by librarians and authors. 

The study revealed that librarians as MPRs were more likely to comment on methodologies compared to SPRs, and authors were more likely to implement their suggested revisions. Some important methodological aspects of manuscripts were commented on predominantly by MPRs and in greater detail – specifically, reporting guidelines and search strategies. Comments from MPRs on methodological sections were clearer and more comprehensive, helping authors to revise their manuscripts. MPRs were also more likely to reject manuscripts compared to SPRs. Journal editors were more likely to follow MPRs' recommendations. 

As methodological peer-reviewers, librarians made valuable contributions to published evidence synthesis research in the IJHG. The study supports the use of librarians and information specialists as MPRs and furthers the understanding of how published research can benefit from their inclusion. The findings could be used to improve existing journal policies and guidelines.

The full article can be accessed here: