Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest
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Issue 26 | July 2017

Welcome to the July edition of our newsletter! We've been busy this month with CRS rollout, almost all Cochrane review groups are now live on CRS Web. We've also got some resources that were highlighted at the EAHIL conference and some papers that you might want to catch up with. Contact us at if you have any questions, or anything you want us to cover in this newsletter next month.
CRS Web update

New features released

CRS Web was updated at the beginning of July. Several bug fixes were implemented and some new features were launched.

New features include:
  • Global edit: how to batch edit a folder of records at one go. Catch up here.
  • the ability to search records on and bring the records into CRS Web. Watch the training video.
We'd also like to highlight this video on CRS Web and Cochrane Crowd, which updates you on how the pilot projects to screen review searches for RCTs through the Crowd are going.

If you have any questions about any CRS Web functionality, or are having any problems at all using the software, report it to us at

Wildcard searching in CRS Web

A few of you will have used the wild card (?) search in the standalone version of CRS. This option was available because Metaxis had developed a bespoke search. This is not the case in CRS Web because the underlying commercial database engine that controls CRS data does not support wildcards in full text search. We have evaluated the impact of this change by checking the number of search lines that include the wildcard operator - 71 search lines out of ~16000 (CRS live site). This is a tiny proportion of search lines and given that a wild card search will be slow in CRS Web we have decided not to implement this feature.

Those of you who use the $ will want to review your saved searches. The obvious solution is to use the spelling variants instead. As experienced information specialists you’re no doubt all familiar with the term variants in your subject area, but as always, the CIS Team is happy to help if you want some support when you’re revising any lines that contain the wild card.

CRS Webinars for July

The CIS Support Team and Metaxis are delivering two more  CRS “drop in” webinars on Friday 21st July at 10am BST and Monday 24th July at 4pm BST.  These sessions will be hosted via GoToWebinar, and are aimed at almost all CISs - all but 11 groups are now live in CRS Web.
If you previously attended a CRS webinar during the rollout of Standalone, we want to clarify that this new series supporting CRS Web will be different. We will not be presenting on or demoing a particular functionality of CRS Web, instead we would like you to use the sessions to raise any queries you have about the software, or to request demonstrations of specific functionality.  It would be helpful if you could email CIS Support ( in advance of the session with your query or details of what you would like to cover (this can be as general as show me how this feature works, or how do I do X); but we will be happy to cover additional questions that arise during the session.
GoToWebinar software allows multiple people to join a conference call and view a shared computer screen.  Please sign up to the webinars using the links below:
Friday 21st July @10:00 BST
Monday 24th July @17:00 BST
In addition to the webinars, a number of short introductory videos on various aspects of working with CRS Web are available through the help menu in CRS Web; and recordings of the previous webinars are available here.
If you haven't yet made the move and are interested in migrating across to CRS Web, contact the CIS Support Team (
Cochrane Information Specialists Journal Club

It's not too late to get involved!

Calling all Information Specialists… the Exec are starting a journal club!
Our first meeting is planned for 22 August, at 2pm BST (this is UK time, find your time zone here) , and will be facilitated by Justin Clark. Justin will be in touch with those who have signed up with his choice of article soon.

Our initial plans are to host four, one-hour meetings per year. Journal club facilitators will present articles of interest to the IS community in an inclusive forum for knowledge sharing and networking.
To join the journal club, nominate a topic or article, or volunteer as a facilitator, please contact Robin Featherstone.

Search blocks

Have you ever been stuck on a search and wondered if you could find an existing search strategy that might help you find more terms for your own search?

Search blocks is a resource put together by Gerdian de Jonge, Regina Kufner Lein and Marli van Amsterdam. It was presented at the 2017 EAHIL conference, and the idea is to share blocks of search strategy that can be slotted into your own search or that you can use to check for more terms.

They have compiled a list of the places you can find search blocks, and you can visit this here, along with an explanation of the project and their EAHIL presentations.

MEDLINE Transpose

If you're trying to convert a search from MEDLINE Ovid to PubMed (or vice versa), a new tool might be able to help. MEDLINE Transpose is a collaboration between the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC) and the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC). It's still being tested, but you can try it out here.

Search filters - what are they good for?

The EAHIL Conference included a CPD course, some of which might be of interest to Cochrane Information Specialists. A particular highlight was this video and accompanying slides by Julie Glanville, co-convenor of the Cochrane Information Retrieval Methods Group.

Some July reading...

Anne Eisinga from Cochrane UK has been in touch with us to highlight several articles that you might want to add to your reading list:

Stansfield C, O'Mara-Eves A, Thomas J. Text mining for search term development in systematic reviewing: A discussion of some methods and challengesRes Syn Meth 2017;1–11.

Bashir R, Bourgeois FT, Dunn AG. A systematic review of the processes used to link clinical trial registrations to their published results. Sys Revs 2017;6:123.

Mortensen ML, Adam GP, Trikalinos TA, Kraska T, Wallace BC. An exploration of crowdsourcing citation screening for systematic reviews. Research Synthesis Methods 2017. DOI: 10.1002/jrsm.1252.

Thanks to Anne for pointing us to these, if you have any articles to highlight please let us know:

Training courses from YHEC (York, UK)

The York Health Economics Consortium has the following training courses available (click on the links to find out more): The courses will all be held at the University of York in the UK.
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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Cochrane Information Specialists Support Team · Cochrane Editorial Unit · 57-59 Haymarket · London, SW1Y 4QX · United Kingdom

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