Objective: The Symposium on Animal Systematic Reviews held 24 May 2022, sought to bring organisations working on animal literature searching and systematic reviews together into the same virtual space for introductions and discussion.

Background: Groups working on animal research synthesis are often siloed into preclinical, veterinary, and One Health settings. This symposium sought to define commonalities and differences in methodologies, resources, and philosophies and to discuss future needs.

Methods: The 3-hour virtual symposium for veterinarians, researchers, and information specialists began with introductions by panelists from organisations involved in searching the literature for animal studies and conducting systematic reviews. This was followed by a panel discussion and question and answer period.

Results: Panelists identified a need to ensure planning and accurate description of primary animal studies as a precursor to quality systematic reviews. They acknowledged and discussed differences in evidence synthesis expectations and tools based on the type of review, the types of studies available on the topic, and the focus on preclinical, veterinary, or One Health topics.

Conclusion: The need to increase the speed and quality of evidence reviews, and to automate updates, requires investing in the development of both skilled teams and platforms. The symposium provided a chance to identify existing resources, define challenges, and note gaps unique to systematic reviews of animal studies.

Application: This symposium acts as a baseline for ongoing discussions centred on improving the culture and pipeline for evidence syntheses of animal studies that inform decision-making.


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