Methods for documenting systematic review searches: a discussion of common issues.

TitleMethods for documenting systematic review searches: a discussion of common issues.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRader T, Mann M, Stansfield C, Cooper C, Sampson M
JournalResearch synthesis methods
Volume5
Issue2
Pagination98-115
Date Published2014 Jun
ISSN1759-2887
KeywordsDatabase Management Systems; Databases, Factual; Documentation; Information Storage and Retrieval; Meta-Analysis as Topic; Research Report; Review Literature as Topic
AbstractINTRODUCTION: As standardized reporting requirements for systematic reviews are being adopted more widely, review authors are under greater pressure to accurately record their search process. With careful planning, documentation to fulfill the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses requirements can become a valuable tool for organizing a systematic review literature search and planning updates. METHODS: A working group of information specialists convened to discuss current practice and were informed by a Web-based survey of over 260 systematic review authors, trials search coordinators, librarians, and other information specialists conducted in February/March 2011. DISCUSSION: Survey responses provided insight into current practices and difficulties of reporting searches. These included a lack of time, tools, clear understanding of the requirements, and uncertainty about responsibility for documenting these elements. This paper will present some of the practical aspects of documenting the systematic literature search. Section 1 provides background information and rationale for this paper. Section 2 discusses issues and recommendations arising from survey results. Section 3 outlines specific elements to be recorded. Section 4 guides the reader through the information management process. Section 5 concludes with implications for future research and practice. These principles are applicable to any large literature search for systematic reviews, health technology assessments, and guideline development.
DOI10.1002/jrsm.1097
Alternate JournalRes Synth Methods