Appraisal of: McGowan J, Sampson M, Salzwedel DM, Cogo E, Foerster V, Lefebvre C. PRESS Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies: 2015 Guideline Statement. J Clin Epidemiol 2016;75:40-6.

Short description: 

This article provides the 'PRESS 2015 Guideline Statement' and 'PRESS checklist' resulting from the update of the 2008-2010 CADTH PRESS project: Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies (2,3,4). The update entailed a systematic review, web-based survey of experts and consensus development forum to evaluate electronic search strategies in order to consolidate and make adjustments to the original PRESS Evidence Based Checklist (4).

The systematic review  identified no new search elements for addition to the existing PRES5 Evidence-Based Checklist; the web-based survey of experts found that most respondents felt that peer review should be undertaken after the MEDLINE search had been prepared but before it had been translated to other databases; and the consensus development forum found that of the seven original PRESS elements, six should be retained and one should be removed (skilled translation of the search strategy to additional databases – not because it was unimportant but rather because it could not easily be ascertained solely via the peer review process).

Limitations stated by the author(s): 

The systematic review for the update was focused on health science databases only. Grading of strength of recommendations was not done. Piloting of the revised PRESS Guideline was undertaken by only one agency (CADTH). 

Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
No additional limitations detected by the reviewers.
Study Type: 
Single study