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Lancaster University: Systematic Review Conversations – Transparent, comprehensive and reproducible searching to minimise risk of bias in systematic reviews

8th February @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Well-conducted and clearly reported search methods are essential to minimise the introduction of potential bias and to identify the best available evidence for systematic reviews (SRs) in a transparent, methodical and reproducible way. Based on our own research, SRs were rated at high risk of bias assessments using the ROBIS tool in Domain 2 (selection and identification of studies), because the search strategies were not fit for purpose, insufficient sources were searched and search methods were poorly reported. As the demand for high quality evidence to support patient care and clinical decision making increases, the involvement of information specialists and librarians at this key stage in the SR process is essential to ensure the overall quality of SRs and to minimise research waste. The presentation will highlight the importance of a robust search strategy; will show how to avoid creeping errors in search strategies by using structured peer review with the CADTH PRESS checklist; the reasons for searching a range of resources including supplementary sources; the cautionary use of search limits and filters; and the significance of writing clear and transparent search methods for an SR. Examples of search strategies with errors which could have been detected by strategy peer review will be presented. I will discuss how poorly reported search methods can result in an unnecessary high risk of bias rating according to a ROBIS assessment, and give some simple tips to improve the quality and clarity of search methods reporting. The presentation will emphasise that search methods are the foundation of a good SR, the involvement of a librarian or information specialist can enhance this vital stage of the SR process, and research shows inclusion of information professionals within the review team can positively affect the overall quality and value of SRs.

Date:Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Time:1:00pm – 2:00pm
Presenter:Kate Misso
Type:Talk / Public Lecture
Categories:Events – Campus and Community Life, Events – Staff Channel, Events – Student Channel

More information.


8th February
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm