Literature searching

The literature search is an important part of a systematic review. Authors of a Cochrane Airways review are supported in this process by the Group’s Information Specialist, Liz Stovold. Liz will work with the review authors to develop search methods for the protocol, including selecting appropriate sources to search, and constructing a search strategy.

When a protocol has been published (or signed off for publication), Liz will conduct the electronic searches and provide the authors with a set of search results. Cochrane Airways maintains a Trials Register to support the production of our systematic reviews. This allows us to streamline the number of databases we need to search for reviews on many of the topics that fall within our scope.

It is important that the search methods are reported accurately in the full review. The full search strategies used in each database should be included in the appendices, and the number of references retrieved, screened, excluded and included should be reported. Liz will provide author teams with a search record containing all the information needed to report the search activity and results.

More detailed information on literature search support available for Cochrane Airways authors is available in this document.

One of the requirements of publishing a Cochrane review is that the search date must be within 12 months, and ideally 6 months of the publication date. So that we can meet this requirement Liz will conduct regular search updates, and a pre-publication top-up search.