Entries in Systematic Reviews (24)


Limits in Systematic Reviews

From Laika:


Limits are NOT DONE, when searching for a systematic review. For the simple reason that most limits (except language and dates) are MESH-terms.
It takes a while before the indexers have assigned a MESH to the papers and not all papers are correctly (or consistently) indexed. Thus, by using limits you will automatically miss recent, not yet, or not correctly indexed papers. Whereas it is your goal (or it should be) to find as many relevant papers as possible for your systematic review.


Exactly right.  There are always more effective ways to target searches, and Laika lists a few.  And, really, for systematic reviews, it behooves the team to involve a librarian with search expertise, so that the strength of the study is not undercut by this or similar flaws in search design.


Finding Evidence for Comparing Medical Interventions

One of the AHRQ's key findings:

"A librarian or other expert searcher should be involved in the development of the search."

No guff.  During my recent search talk for a meta analysis course, I encouraged those in attendance to pass the search responsibilities on to someone who knows what they're doing.  Seems to me a strong search would strengthen the methodology and, by extension, the analysis.    



Constructing Systematic Review Searches

Last week I gave the following presentation (minus animations) as part of an intro to meta analyses course.  I spoke for about an hour and a half and gave a very short live demo of how I'd go about building and validating a systematic review search.  It seemed to be well received.



For Those Interested in Grey Lit...

The materials (slides, talks) from the recent (early April) Grey Literature Web Conference Series are now available.  It seems I'm always involved in systematic review searches these days (years?), so brushing up on these niche resources is primo.  I should also mention that the grey lit talk at the Systematic Review workshop at the University of Pittsburgh was also quite good, and the Pitts folk were able to contribute a piece to this conference. 

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