Document your search strategy and include it in your systematic review so it can be reproduced for verification. For each database you search, record:
– The database name and platform, for example, Medline (Ovid)
– Date search was run
– Full search strategy, including limits used and date range
– Number of studies found
Save the search strategy in each database with the ‘save search’ feature. You may need to rerun the search strategies if the original search was run more than 12 months before completion of the SR.
1. Construct a search strategy using the search syntax of each database and include appropriate synonyms (example from Cochrane), and search filters if appropriate and available.
2. Save search strategy (see instructions 'Saving your search' box on left)
3. Run search and adapt syntax to features of each individual database
4. Exports results to a reference manager, for example, EndNote
5. Remove duplicates - see Bramer et al. (2016) for a duplication method using EndNote
Cochrane Handbook see the chapter, “Searching for and Selecting Studies” (pp. 67–107)
Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews see Chapter 3, “Standards for Finding and Assessing Individual Studies” (pp. 81–153)