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Documenting the search process: an update of different methods?

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Mala Mann

Contact person

Tamara Rader
Mala Mann
Abstract text
Background: In order to comply with the standards laid out in Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) Cochrane authors are expected to provide detailed reporting of the search process including search strategies for each database searched. Objectives: To discuss methods to incorporate and keep track of the literature search documentation during the search process, and identify barriers to adhering to the MECIR standards. Methods: To report an audit of search strategy reporting in new and updated Cochrane Reviews in a recent issue of the Cochrane Library. We will examine results from a survey conducted amongst Trials Search Coordinators, Information Specialists and review authors. We will highlight some of the challenges faced such as incorporating search strategies from various databases. Results: The survey revealed an inconsistency in information that was documented and reported by those responsible for search documentation. The recent audit revealed that the MECIR standards related to the search documentation are still presenting challenges to some authors. This includes, incorporating search strategies from bibliographic databases, websites, and documentation relating to carrying out update searches. Conclusions: Keeping track of the search documentation is applicable to any extensive search, including Cochrane and non-Cochrane systematic reviews, health technology assessments and guidelines.