Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest
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Issue 22 | March 2017

The March edition of our newsletter looks at the overlap between Scopus and other databases, gives you some tips on searching CENTRAL for updates, some information on searching Embase by date created and updates you on the way you can gain access to the PICO Annotator Knowledge Base. We're also pointing you to some recently published articles in the information retrieval literature.
About Scopus

Overlap between Scopus and other databases

Some information was recently posted to a mailing list in the UK about Scopus and how much it overlaps with other databases. We thought that those of you who use Scopus as an Embase alternative might be interested to know about it.

This is the reply from Nick Godwin at Elsevier:

Scopus has a 100% overlap with Medline titles. The majority of those titles are also received via the publisher in any case, though approximately 1000 Medline titles are fed directly from Medline into Scopus. There is generally an inherent delay from publication date in getting these titles into the database compared with the publisher-fed titles.
Scopus includes most, but not all, Embase content, as well as the Embase index terms. Scopus searches focus on abstracts and citations, while a search in Embase provides additional insights as a result of the structured full-text indexing of content. Since Scopus does not use Emtree to facilitate synonym mapping and hierarchical searches, it may retrieve fewer results than Embase. For example, a Scopus search using only the term "heart attack" would miss records mentioning "myocardial infarction" or indexed using the Emtree term "heart infarction", unlike Embase.
In addition, Embase subheadings are not available on Scopus, so searches cannot be focused in the same way. For example, it is not possible to limit drug searches to records focusing on adverse effects.
Embase - limiting a search by date

Update from the Centralised Search Service team on using "date created" to limit searches in Embase

The Centralised Search Service (CSS) team got in touch with us to pass on some information on searching Embase for updates...

Many of you will be using the using the DC (date created) limit in Ovid Embase when running update searches. This was recommended by Ovid last year however the CSS team have discovered that DC captures a lot of false positives potentially because it now includes all the Embase In-process records. Those records have been auto-tagged and the accuracy of that tagging is not optimal.

We can’t propose an optimal solution at present but the CSS team is exploring a number of ways of handling the matter because it impacts the Embase feed into CENTRAL . At present we feed all records tagged with RCT and CCT into CENTRAL but since the changes last year we’re very conscious that this has introduced some noise. In Ovid you can run a DC search and then deduct the in-process records, but this runs the risk of missing some relevant in-process records.

We'll keep you posted on what the CSS team decide on as a way forward.
CENTRAL search issues

Problem with the date field in CENTRAL, January 2017 Issue

Ruth Foxlee recently contacted the mailing list about a problem with the date field in the CENTRAL records published in the Cochrane Library, Jan Issue 1 2017.

Currently all CENTRAL records from the Jan 2017 issue have a publication year of 2017 regardless of what the original journal publication year really was, i.e. it’s taking the year the records were added to CLIB as the publication date. The problem impacts the date used for citation export, the date used for a pub date search and the date that appears in search results.
Please note this only affects records new in Jan Issue 1 2017, nothing prior to then.
We still have no information from Wiley on when this problem might be fixed.

In the mean time, please be aware that this issue isn't affecting either Cochrane Register of Studies Online or CENTRAL searches through CRS Web. Searching within either of these two systems will bring through records with the correct dates, and may provide you with a temporary solution.

In the event that you having to work with CENTRAL records from the Cochrane Library, Robin Featherstone from the CIS Exec has contacted us with the following advice:

After exporting CENTRAL records out of Wiley Cochrane Library, we recommend you manually confirm publication dates for all 2017 records. Locate bibliographic records in alternative databases (e.g., PubMed, Embase) or on publishers' websites. Any incorrect publication dates will need to be changed in citation manager programs. 

Note: the problem impacts records with a publication date of 2017 in CENTRAL. These are the only records for which publication dates should be confirmed and manually corrected. 

CRS Webinar questions

Searching CENTRAL by date for review updates

An ongoing problem for Cochrane Information Specialists is the inability to limit by date added to the database in Wiley CENTRAL. This is especially frustrating if you are trying to do a search update for a review.

The question came up in a CRS webinar recently, and we explored the different options.

1. You can limit a CENTRAL search by date or by issue of CENTRAL in CRS Online ( ), this is a “real-time” version of CENTRAL. You can then download them as a RIS for import into CRS Web, or any other reference management software you might be using.

2. If the set is small, you can also add the records to your register directly from CRSO, so you wouldn’t then have to export the RIS and then import the references into CRS Web.

3. You can do a CENTRAL search from within CRS Web, and limit by date added to database. You can’t yet search by CENTRAL issue number, but if you search by the last day of the month of the issue that you are interested in, that will be roughly equivalent to the issue number, with a few exceptions. You can then add these retrieved records to CENTRAL. Be aware that this will retrieve different numbers to the Wiley version of CENTRAL because of the more sophisticated de-deduplication that happens in CRS-D, the database that sits behind CRS Web.

4. If you don’t want to convert your searches to CRSO, you can still search in Wiley and then export all the results into CRS Web. If you have been using tracking previously in stand-alone, you can then use the tracking feature to weed out those CENTRAL records that have already been sent to the author. Tracking will match your new imported records against those already sent and leave you with a set of CENTRAL records to send to the author.

Find out more by visiting the help section of CRS Web, and look at the searching and tracking help topics.

You can find a video clip from the webinar here.

CRS Webinar Q&As on a range of topics are now available here.
PICO Annotator update

PICO Annotation guidance

Deirdre Beecher and team have sent us the following information to pass on about the PICO Annotation Project:

Throughout the first phase of the PICO Annotation Project we have been putting together annotation guidance and storing it in Confluence. Recently you should have received an email inviting you to set up an account in Confluence so you can access this guidance.

We have given you access to our Annotation Knowledge Base to which several people working on the project have contributed. These pages are still been edited and updated, as guidance has changed over time. On the main page I have added some quick links to useful information or else you can browse through the contents in the left-hand column.

Questions raised at CIS meetings are listed on a page here too. If you wish to leave comments on any of the pages, you can do so by typing them in the box at the bottom of each page. Please contact me if you have any problems using Confluence or would like more information.

Deirdre Beecher (
Help Metaxis to develop CRS Web

How to submit a development idea for CRS Web

If you have a good idea for changes or developments to CRS Web, the place to go is

It works like this:

1. Login with your Cochrane account. This is really important in case we need more details, in which case we will contact you directly.
2. Submit your idea to the CRS section, here.
3. Vote on your idea, or any other ideas. You have 9 votes to use, and you can vote up to three times for any one idea. Votes will be released back to you when the idea has been either marked for development or rejected.
4. The ideas will then be considered by Metaxis and the CIS Support Team.

You can also access Ideas directly from within CRS Web, by clicking the ideas button on the toolbar.
Open Trials needs you

Open Trials Beta Testing

Open Trials are requesting help from medical librarians who have used the Open Trials explorer. They would like people to either participate in a user testing session or to provide feedback.

Fill out this web form to take part!
Information retrieval methods update

Articles of interest to Cochrane information specialists

Anne Eisinga and Robin Paynter have alerted us to some new publications which may be of interest to Cochrane Information Specialists. Thanks to Anne and Robin. Don't forget to let us know if you've read something that you'd like to share, or if you've had an article published that you'd like others to know about.

Stansfield C, Dickson K, Bangpan M.
Exploring issues in the conduct of website searching and other online sources for systematic reviews: how can we be systematic?

Syst Rev 2016 Nov 15;5(1):191.
[this is the full publication of a report first presented as a poster at the Quebec Colloquium]

Adams J, Hillier-Brown FC, Moore HJ, Lake AA, Araujo-Soares V, White M, Summerbell C.
Searching and synthesising 'grey literature' and 'grey information' in public health: critical reflections on three case studies.

Syst Rev 2016 Sep 29;5(1):164.

Shemilt I, Khan N, Park S, Thomas J.

Use of cost-effectiveness analysis to compare the efficiency of study identification methods in systematic reviews.
Syst Rev 2016 Aug 17;5(1):140. doi: 10.1186/s13643-016-0315-4.

Baudard M, Yavchitz A, Ravaud P, Perrodeau E, Boutron I.

Impact of searching clinical trial registries in systematic reviews of pharmaceutical treatments: methodological systematic review and reanalysis of meta-analyses.
BMJ. 2017 Feb 17;356:j448.
News from your Exec

Chris Mavergames is the new CIO of Cochrane

The Information Specialists’ Exec would like to draw your attention to an organisational change in Cochrane’s central executive team. Chris Mavergames has been appointed as the new Chief Information Officer at Cochrane.

You can read all about it on the Cochrane community site:
“Announcing Cochrane’s Chief Information Officer “

Cochrane Council and the Mid-Year Meeting

The newly formed Cochrane Council will hold its first meeting at the Cochrane Mid-Year Meeting in April. Our two Council representatives who will attend the meeting are Rene Spijker and Liz Stovold.
The Cochrane Information Specialist Exec will also be meeting during the Mid-Year Meeting. Currently, we are planning to discuss the Linked Data project and PICO annotation with Chris Mavergames, and how the structure and function changes may impact the CIS role. Please let us know if there are other issues you believe should be discussed by the Exec during the meeting by emailing the co-chairs, Liz Stovold or Rene Spijker
The Exec will communicate the highlights from both the Exec meeting and the Cochrane Council after the meetings.
Happy Easter!

Easter helpdesk closure dates

The CIS Support helpdesk will be closed for Easter on Friday 14th April and Monday 17th April. We'll be back to answer your queries from Tuesday 18th. Stay in touch!
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:
Sam Faulkner I Ruth Foxlee
Anne Littlewood I Doug Salzwedel
Cochrane Information Specialist Support Website
Cochrane Information Specialist Support Website

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Cochrane Information Specialists Support Team · Cochrane Editorial Unit · 57-59 Haymarket · London, SW1Y 4QX · United Kingdom

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