Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest
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Issue 23 | April 2017

We've got another bumper issue of the CIS digest to bring you this month. We're highlighting some of the new features on CRS Web, rounding up some information on MEDLINE Ovid and we have some interesting resources to share on peer review for diagnostic test accuracy studies. We also have a report from the WHO guidelines horizon scanning session in Geneva, and some articles that you might be interested in. Contact us at
CRS New Build

Features introduced in the March 2017 CRS Build

Those of you who are live on CRS Web, or on CRS Demo will have noticed some changes and new features in CRS Web. A number of bugs have also been fixed. Please continue to report these!

Highlights of the new build include:

1. New import filters

Metaxis have built a number of new import filters for your use. Choose the platform, database and export style in the import tab to try them out. If there are filters missing that you need, or you find that the filter isn't working in the way you would expect, get in touch with us ( Find out more about the rationale for the import filters in this video here.

2. Triage

A new triage screen is available to help you to screen records, which those of you who use CRS to maintain a register might find very useful. Create a folder with subfolders for the records, and then click on the "Triage" button. You will then be taken to a triage screen, where you can view the title and abstract and add the records to the subfolders automatically. If you have to log out of CRS, you can go back to the record you were up to in the folder, by clicking on the folder and clicking on "Triage". You can also turn on highlights for certain words to help you screen. More information is available in this video.

3.  Skip to a page within a set of results

A change has been made to the search results screen, so that you can skip to a particular page within a set of results instead of having to scroll through the whole lot. Search results are delivered in groups of 50 to page. You can now click on the "1" in the "Page 1 of XX" at the top of the search results and change this to any number in the set of pages to quickly reach the page you want.

A full list of all the changes can be downloaded here.

If you are not yet live on the demo version, please contact us to make the move to CRS Web:

Videos from the CRS Training Event in Oxford are now available on the CRS Portal.
Update for Ovid users

MEDLINE Versions launched

There have been a number of emails to the CIS and IRMG mailing lists this month on the availability of MEDLINE Versions and the optimal way to search using date limits for review updates.

Maria-Inti Metzendorf contacted the list with the following update from Ovid:

MEDLINE Versions is a new segment that was added after global annual MEDLINE reload. MEDLINE Versions includes all versions of a certain citation. A version is a subsequent publication of a previously published article that incorporates new data or findings using a publishing practice designed specifically for rapidly communicating scientific results. Though NLM does not expect many journals will publish versions, thus the incidence of versioned citations will be small. A version is NOT a re-publication of a previously published article that incorporates editorial changes, it is not an erratum notice, it is not a manuscript, it is not publish ahead of print, and it is not an updated article appearing years after the original.

Thanks to Maria-Inti for forwarding this to the list.

Searching using date limits

Graham Chan and Paul Miller both had tips this month for searching Ovid MEDLINE using date limits.

Ovid MEDLINE(R) Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE(R) Daily, Ovid MEDLINE and Versions(R) has been available to Ovid users for some time, but Graham has encountered a problem with limiting searches by date. If you want to limit by .ed., the ed field (Entry Date) actually means "date processing ended", and recently added records may not have any, because they are still being processed, so by specifying entry dates, we exclude these records. Of course there are other ways to minimise duplication of previous search results, but if you want to continue doing it in Ovid, you can do something like the following:

Assume line 15 is your search result prior to applying any date limits, and you want to limit the results to records added between 24/5/2015 and 30/03/2017.

16. limit 15 to ed=20150224-20170330
17. 15 not (1$ or 2$).ed.  [i.e. records with no entry date]
18. 17 and (2015$ or 2016$ or 2017$).dc.
19. 16 or 18

This catches records that are in MEDLINE and have no ed field, but have a dc (Date Created, i.e. date processing began) as near as possible to the required date range. The limit command cannot be used with dc, only with ed or yr. This also assumes that you have included appropriate free-text terms in your search strategy as well as MeSH terms (records with no ed will probably not have been MeSH-indexed).

Paul Miller's solution was to do the following:

Search all the date fields that seem relevant then “and” this with the results of the search. Then you can de-duplicate this on import into a copy of a master EndNote file for the search which has all the duplicates retained and all records labelled. Remove the labelled records and de-duplicate again.
The date fields are all YYYYMMDD and phrase indexed (I think) so can be truncated, i.e. 2014-2016 on Ovid MEDLINE would be:
(2014* or 2015* or 2016*).dc,dp,ed,ep,yr.
dp=date of publication
ep=electronic date of publication

Thanks to Graham and Paul for keeping us informed.

If you have anything further to add, please contact the list or contact us directly ( to have it included in next month's digest.
Peer review

Presentation and peer review checklist - DTA Studies

Rene Spijker from the CIS Exec has made available some resources on peer review of search strategies.

You can download Rene's slides on peer reviewing a diagnostic test accuracy search strategy here.

The DTA Peer Review Checklist can be downloaded from here.

He has also given us access to this article as an example (if you want to have a go at using the checklist): Rud et al. The Osteoporosis Self-Assessment Tool versus alternative tests for selecting postmenopausal women for bone mineral density assessment: a comparative systematic review of accuracy. Osteporos Int (2009) 20:599–607 and its appendices, here.
Horizon scanning and the WHO

A report from Geneva...

Colleen Ovelman from the CIS Executive attended a session on horizon scanning for WHO guideline development at the recent mid-year meeting in Geneva, and sent us the following report:

While Cochrane review groups may be contacted by WHO guideline developers for needed systematic reviews, the required time to completion may be prohibitive to conduct a thorough update and especially to complete and publish a new review.
One suggestion for how Cochrane review groups or fields could ensure that evidence from Cochrane reviews is available for guideline development is to review currently available WHO guidelines: After 2008/2009 systematic reviews became the main source of evidence for all WHO guideline PICO questions. Guidelines are updated periodically to include new evidence. Additionally, guidelines or guidance published before 08/09 may also be relevant and in need of updating. By searching through the guidelines in the topics relevant to your Cochrane review group or field, you can see where there is a need for new or updated Cochrane reviews to answer the PICO questions raised by the guideline developers.

Thanks to Colleen for the update!
Useful articles and a journal club?

Recent research papers

Anne Eisinga has been in touch with us to highlight some recently published research. Links to the PubMed citations are below:

Briscoe S, Cooper C, Glanville J, Lefebvre C. The loss of the NHS EED and DARE databases and the effect on evidence synthesis and evaluation. Res Synth Methods 2017 Mar 7. doi: 10.1002/jrsm.1235. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28268247.

Olofsson H, Brolund A, Hellberg C, Silverstein R, Stenström K, Österberg M, Dagerhamn J. Can abstract screening workload be reduced using text mining? User experiences of the tool Rayyan. Res Synth Methods 2017 Apr 4. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1237. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28374510.

Thanks to Anne for highlighting!

Journal Club for Cochrane Information Specialists

Sam Cox got in touch with the CIS Support list recently to see if there was interest in a Cochrane Information Specialists' Journal Club. Many other communities of information specialists hold regular journal clubs to share and review the latest research in our field. One model is that an IS is assigned a month (we would probably hold these less frequently to start with) and they pick a paper from a list (there are some dissemination lists we could ‘borrow’ rather than creating our own), read and summarise the paper for the rest of the group. The group would then meet to discuss. We would aim to start with a small enthusiastic group of volunteers. 
If you are keen to be involved please get in touch with Sam ( We will only pursue this if there is enough interest from you all. We've had a really positive response so far, with 13 CISs expressing an interest.
Advice and guidance

Searching Regulatory Databases

A reminder that some advice on searching regulatory databases for clinical trials is available on the CIS Portal.

Searching regulatory databases should only be considered if all the following circumstances apply:
  • If the drug/device is newly approved by EMA or FDA (last 5 years) or is utilised for a new indication (last 5 years)
  • If the drug/device has been approved for use for the condition in question
  • When the drug/device is compared to placebo for the comparisons in the review; although searches for reviews of other drug comparisons might also yield results
Searching the databases under the above conditions could provide useful study level data on drug efficacy.  These sources are difficult to search and the search interfaces change regularly. The data can be difficult to analyse, therefore CISs should discuss with their author teams whether the above circumstances apply to the review question, and whether to search these sources.

You can find more information here.

If you want to know why searching for this information is important, read this Cochrane Library editorial by Jeppe Schroll and Lisa Bero.
Article alerts

Did you know?

The SRC Methods Library has an alerting system, which brings new articles to your inbox each week. These are on a range of topics related to systematic reviews, but there is usually a collection of searching methods articles.

To visit the whole of the SRC Method Library, go here. If you have a RefWorks account through your institution and use that account to open the SRC RefWorks database you will have additional search and selection options for tagged topics. This includes information retrieval subtopics 

To subscribe to the alerts, go here.

Thanks to Robin Featherstone of the CIS Exec for the information.
Changes to the CIS Support Team
We are delighted to welcome Charlene Bridges to the CIS Support Team. Charlene replaces Liz Doney, who left the team in January to concentrate on her expanded role with the Cochrane Skin Group. Charlene is the CIS with the Cochrane Heart Group, and joins the team for one day per week.

Sam Faulkner has changed her name to Sam Cox, after getting married in March. Congratulations to Sam!
Contact us...
Don't forget, previous editions of the Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest are available on the CIS Portal

Contact the Support Team for help with any Cochrane Information Specialist related issue (including CRS technical support):
The Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team:
Charlene Bridges | Sam Cox I Ruth Foxlee
Anne Littlewood I Doug Salzwedel

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