TSC Support Team digest
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Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Issue 05 | October 2015

Our last digest was about grey literature searching, and we haven’t quite finished with the topic yet! Here are some more resources that you might like to explore and see if they are useful for your area of interest. They are probably not resources you would search for an individual review, but could be of use for populating your specialised register. If there are any other resources for grey literature searching that you would like to share with other TSCs, contact us and we'll add it to the next digest. We'd be really interested to hear if you go on to use any of these resources, and how helpful they were. Email us and let us know!:
Grey literature: searching the internet

Google Scholar - search tips and reporting

The web resource that TSCs are probably most likely to be asked to search is Google Scholar. This can be worthwhile, but the search interface is limited and only the first 1,000 search results can be displayed. More useful might be the “cited by” feature, which can help you pick up where included studies have been cited. There are some search tips available: This presentation by Simon Briscoe on web searching and reporting the searches is interesting reading, along with this accompanying article. Google’s rival Microsoft offers a little known service – Microsoft Academic Search, as a supplement to its search engine. It’s in beta form at the moment, but might be worth exploring. Find some help using it here.

Millionshort is an interesting resource. You can search and then remove the top 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 or million results so you can see what is left. This allows you to drill down past the more popular hits and find information that might otherwise be hidden. Take a tour to find out more!

Carrot Search

Carrot2 is an open source search results clustering engine. It automatically organizes small collections of documents into thematic clusters. It includes a PubMed interface, and utilises text mining to manage searches, which are grouped into folders depending on topic. You can also create visual diagrams of search results to look at patterns in the search.


The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is dedicated to finding academic open access resources. It provides more than 70 million documents from over 3,000 sources. They estimate that full text is available for around 70%. The search interface is also available in German and Chinese. Useful search tips can be found here. A similar resource is CORE (Connecting Repositories), which harvests openly accessible content and brings it together in one resource. Over 24 million articles are available.


DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working  together to improve access to European research theses. Their E-theses portal provides access to over 600,000 research theses from 583 universities in 28 European countries. For search tips, see the help pages, here.

The "Deep Web"

For those of you who might be interested in the far reaches of the internet, there are several options for searching the “deep web” – the part of the World Wide Web that is not indexed by traditional search engines. Of particular interest is MedNar, which indexes medical and health information (help pages available here). It even includes a built in clinical trials filter. Other deep web search engines for scientists include, and
Editorial Resources Committee

Tip - resources of interest to TSCs

The Editorial Resources Committee (ERC) aims to support Cochrane Review Groups by providing useful resources to support their work, including information packs, forms and checklists. There are some resources which may be of particular interest to TSCs: More resources can be found on the ERC website. Deirdre Beecher is the TSC representative on the ERC. If you would like to comment on any of these resources, or have any suggestions for new resources, please contact her:
Contact us...
Contact the TSC Support Team for help with any TSC related issue (including CRS technical support):
The TSC Support Team:
Liz Doney I Sam Faulkner I Ruth Foxlee
Anne Littlewood I Doug Salzwedel
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