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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Systematic Reviews: SR and other comprehensive literature search project support

Report Search Methods

Write Up Search Methods

See Appendix 3: Documenting the Search Process in Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care. Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. January 2009.

Tool for Building a PRISMA Search Flow Diagram - from the Evidence Synthesis Hackathon

See Guides for Conducting Systematic Reviews for additional models of search methodology reporting, from PRISMA, Cochrane Manual and others.

Complying with PRISMA and Standards for Cochrane: See Cochrane Handbook > Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR)

Searching for and Selecting Studies chapter of the Cochrane Handbook.

Document Your Search Strategies

  • Save your exact search strategy for each database in a text document.
  • Record date each database searched, years covered, and number of hits retrieved.
  • Record number of hits after deduplication against other database results.

Save search for future use in personal account within each database (eg MyNCBI in PubMed, My Saved Searches in Web of Science, My EBSCOhost in CINAHL Plus)

Software for Managing References, and Assessing Results

Manage Your Search Results

See Citation Management Tools for guides on using EndNote, EndNote Web and other citation management programs for storing, deduplicating and organizing search results.


Reviewing retrieved references for inclusion in systematic reviews using Endnote. Bramer WM, Milic J, Mast F. J Med Libr Assoc. 2017 Jan; 105(1): 84-87.

Reference checking for systematic reviews using Endnote. Bramer WM. J Med Libr Assoc. 2018 Oct; 106(4): 542-6.

Covidence and Rayyan. Kellermeyer L, Harnke B, Knight S. J Med Libr Assoc. 2018 Oct; 106(4): 580-3. (Review)

SRA-DM tool. Rathbone J, Carter M, Hoffmann T, Glasziou P. Better duplicate detection for systematic reviewers: evaluation of Systematic Review Assistant-Deduplication Module.  Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 14;4:6. doi: 10.1186/2046-4053-4-6. PubMed PMID: 25588387

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