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World Health Organization (WHO)

Consultant – In-depth literature searches and systematic reviews

( 2205878 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 3 months

Job Posting: Jun 23, 2022, 9:23:40 AM

Purpose of consultancy

To process citations and results from daily in-depth literature searches to ensure timely availability of scientific evidence in support of the WHO Outbreak and Crises Response, WHO Rapid Review Group, and the WHO COVID-19 Research Database.


WHO is gathering the latest scientific findings and knowledge on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and compiling it in a database (WHO COVID-19 Research Database). The WHO Library updates the database daily from searches of bibliographic databases, hand searches of the table of contents of relevant journals, and the addition of other relevant scientific articles relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Search results are used to provide WHO Health Emergencies and other WHO workforce involved in COVID -19 outbreak with a searchable resource for review and guideline needs. This database is also publicly available with almost 7000 users/day and a growing number of total users and total downloads.


  • Process citations received daily by running a set of predefined deduplication steps to extract duplicate records for the WHO COVID-19 Research database.
  • Provide quality control of bibliographic information for the WHO COVID-19 Research Database (in coordination with database team).
  • Provide record enhancement (author/date/Abstract inclusion, etc.) on individual citations.
  • Troubleshoot citation processing issues.
  • Troubleshoot technical issues with data delivery in coordination with Bireme.
  • Provide regular back-up & transfer of records to BIREME.
  • Provide feedback on any relevant changes or modifications needed to implement in the input and creation of records that might improve/ enhance the results.
  • Create and update Standard Operating Procedure documents for daily updating and general process functions of the WHO Covid-19 Research database.
  • Manage the citation screening process with a group of volunteers.
  • Collaborate with ZB-MED to develop automatization of the deduplication process.
  • Collaborate with the Epistemonikos group to improve comprehensiveness of both databases (L·OVE, WHO Covid-19 Research Database).
  • Collaborate with CDC to retrieve broader sources of scientific information.
  • Respond to general email enquiries for the WHO Covid-19 Research Database.
  • Contribute to the development of search filters for LMIC countries.
  • Run simple searches across several databases & publishers’ websites.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications:

Essential: First level university degree in public health or in any relevant field.



  • At least 3 years previous experience in working on a database.
  • At least 1 year of experience in working in citation management.

Desirable: Experience using DistillerSR as account administrator.


  • Knowledge of WHO House Style.
  • Proficient in record structure/quality control of bibliographic elements.
  • Understanding of Public Health issues.

  • Highly skilled in the use of EndNote and Excel

    including macros task automation.

  • Familiarity with the back-end processing of the WHO COVID-19 Database.
  • Familiarity of fact checking and following up on copyright issues.
  • Effective communicator able to collaborate with teams in an international, multicultural, multidisciplinary environment; separated by geographical locations and working across different time-zones.
  • Capable to build simple search strategies for PubMed.
  • Expertise searching for full text articles.

Languages required:


  • Expert knowledge of English.
  • Expert knowledge of Spanish.


  • Intermediate knowledge of French.
  • Basic knowledge of German.


Off-site – Home based.


No travel is expected

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):

Remuneration: Band level A

USD 3,955

6,980 per month.

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):


Expected duration of contract:

3 months.

Additional Information

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: (link) Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit: (link)
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: (link)-onu-geneve/en/home/manual-regime-privileges-and-immunities/introduction/Manuel-personnes-sans-privileges-et-immunites-carte-H/Non fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html
Tags: covid, fact checking, health emergencies, library, quality control, social security contributions