Project Description

MDB conducts expert literature searches and analyses that help clients understand the state of the science and identify research gaps.

In addition to compiling basic bibliographies, we have also conducted comprehensive literature searches for systematic reviews, written literature search methodology, and created monthly new publication alerts. We work with our clients to develop an optimal search strategy and to identify a presentation format that will best communicate search results.

Some examples of our work include:

  • Autism and environmental exposures – MDB produced an annotated list of the top 20 papers on autism and environmental exposures for the Autism Research Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). This list helps the program leader brief others about notable research on this important topic. MDB used a targeted search strategy to retrieve publications from PubMed and Web of Science. Key papers were identified using research impact metrics such as the number of times cited and journal impact factor, as well as with client input.
  • Environmental health risk communication – For the NIEHS, MDB created an annotated bibliography to assess the state of the literature as well as gaps and opportunities in environmental health communication research. We worked with the client to identify key words and a comprehensive search strategy to locate important peer-reviewed articles, books, and government reports. We summarized themes that emerged from the search, and the synopsis accompanying each citation explained key points in each paper.
  • Developmental origins of health and disease – We helped the NIEHS evaluate the state-of-the-science on developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) in people by analyzing the body of literature on this topic. After conducting a comprehensive literature search, we extracted key characteristics of included studies and placed them into a database. We then generated tables that listed studies demonstrating relationships between early chemical exposures and later health outcomes, thus showing a link between early-life environmental exposure and adult disease. Knowledge generated from this analysis will be used by NIEHS staff to communicate the state of the science of environmental DOHaD through presentations and a planned review paper.