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Tuesday, October 10 • 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Evaluating the Consistency and Quality of Search Strategies and Methodology in Cochrane Urology Group Systematic Reviews

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The Cochrane Urology Working Group has undergone multiple administrative and personnel changes over its history. Presently, there are nearly a dozen Information Specialists volunteering from several institutions and two countries. To identify areas for quality and consistency improvement, we evaluated the search methodologies in 64 Urology Group Reviews/Protocols.


64 published Urology Group Cochrane Systematic Reviews (CSR) and Protocols (CSP) were downloaded from the Cochrane Library on September 15, 2016. A data form was created using Qualtrics consisting of several sections including expanded PRESS (Peer-Review of Electronic Search Strategies) elements, database selection, search methodology reporting, & consistency. Four librarians, including two Cochrane Urology Assistant Information Specialists, evaluated 20 CSR/Ps each, allowing overlap to verify data extraction reliability.


Librarian reviewers noted high variability in CSR/P search methods including selection of databases searched, full search strategies reporting, and use of publication filters, clinical trial registries, conference proceedings, and journal TOCs. Within search strategies, common errors included wrong line numbers, misspellings, inappropriate syntax, and duplicated lines.


Cochrane Reviews are frequently viewed as the "gold standard" of systematic reviews, therefore the CSR/Ps should have high quality search methodology. This retrospective analysis represents a historical overview of search method reporting in CSR/Ps from the Cochrane Urology Group. Our results demonstrate a need for improved standardization including complete documentation of all strategies, more consistent database selection, less variation in strategy construction, increased use of peer-review and inclusion of the PRISMA Flow Diagram, and tighter adherence to the Cochrane Handbook/MECIR Standards.


avatar for Jennifer Lyon

Jennifer Lyon

Clinical Medical Librarian, Children's Mercy Hospital
Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine (General Medicine), Infectious Diseases, MLIS, MS
avatar for Carrie Price

Carrie Price

Clinical Librarian, Johns Hopkins University
avatar for Jamie Saragossi

Jamie Saragossi

Health Sciences Collection Development and Outreach Librarian, Stony Brook University Libraries
Jamie Saragossi currently serves as the Health Sciences Collection Development and Outreach Librarian.  Jamie will be focusing on the acquisition of resources for the Health Sciences Library.  If you have any suggestions about resources you'd like to see, please feel free to contact her... Read More →
avatar for Clara Tran

Clara Tran

Science Librarian, Stony Brook University Libraries
Clara Y. Tran is the Science Librarian at Stony Brook University.  She is the liaison to the Undergraduate Biology program, Department of Chemistry, Department of Ecology & Evolution, and the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program.  Her research interests include bibilometrics, data information... Read More →

Tuesday October 10, 2017 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Grand Ballroom Tiger Hotel

Attendees (7)