Updating systematic reviews
This search's date should now be considered the last date searched, and the number of records retrieved from this search will be used in the published PRISMA flow chart. Create a compressed End Note Library (file) of the complete search results, and store it for possible use in future updates.In the process, a compressed library (file) can serve as an archive and be used in subsequent updates to identify and remove previously screened records. If search terms are to be changed or added, make those changes to the search strategies. Run the searches in all databases from the original starting date (rather than limiting from the previous search date) and import all results into End Note. De-duplicate the End Note file (preferably as described by Bramer et al. This set of results should be reported in the published review as the number of records reviewed by title and/or abstract.These novel terms need to be searched in all the databases that were queried in the original search from the original starting date, thus requiring even more complicated search structures and date ranges.Hence, to many authors, updating a search can seem to be a complicated and uncertain task. The authors have developed a method for updating existing reviews that uses End Note reference management software .By means of duplicate detection, matching pairs of records (one from the original search and the other from the new search) can be identified and removed, leaving only new records that have yet to be screened.
Here, we describe the process in step-by-step detail.We do recommend thorough de-duplication in End Note by the process described in an earlier article by Bramer et al. This earlier article also describes how substantial differences in the way single articles are represented in various databases can be resolved.It describes how page numbers from MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library can be completed, turning abbreviated pagination (e.g., 1008-12) into full format pagination (e.g., 1008-1012) as is used in other databases.Many handbooks and guidelines for performing systematic reviews state that search strategies should be updated regularly to keep track of newly added references on the topic [4-6].Recent guidance from an international panel of authors, editors, clinicians, statisticians, information specialists, other methodologists, and guideline developers considered various aspects of updating reviews, including efficient searching.