Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest
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Issue 12 | May 2016

Welcome to the May edition of the digest - we are looking at processes and workflows this month, but we've also got some information on Cochrane Crowd, a search tip for Ovid, an update on CRS Web and a round up from the Cochrane Information Specialist mailing list. Contact us with any ideas for future digests at
Editorial processes and workflows

Revising and updating workflows

The CIS Support Team linked up with Managing Editor Support a few months ago to talk about workflows in Archie, and how to make them more relevant to the Information Specialist role.

We looked at the importance of talking through the editorial process with your Managing Editor, and considering places where Information Specialist input might be very relevant. If your Cochrane group is using Archie workflows, you might want to revise and edit the workflow templates with your Managing Editor to make sure it reflects how you work. As a rough guide, we've produced the following overview of where a CIS might input into the editorial process (of course this will vary from team to team!):

1. When a review title is registered:

CIS to run a search for non-Cochrane systematic reviews on the title topic to check for duplication

2. At protocol stage:

CIS to contact team to offer help with drafting a search strategy for MEDLINE and to advise on search methods

Create draft search strategy with team

Check the protocol’s references are formatted correctly and do other pre-publication checks of the search methods

3. At review stage:

Run searches for core databases, remove duplicates and send results to the team in RIS and Word formats

Add searching information to the Abstract and Methods sections

Enter all search strategies used in the Appendices

Before publication, check all the references and the search methods, study flow diagram and reporting of the results of the search.

4. At update stage:

Re-run all searches for the original review – tweak strategies if they need updating

Update search dates and Abstract and Methods sections

Check any new references added

There are some really useful features in Archie that can help with the review process. For example, you can set up email templates in workflows that can be sent directly from Archie, so that there is always a copy stored alongside the review (this also saves time in that you don't have to keep typing the same information over and over again). The ticketing system can be set up to send you reminders when a task is due. You can also store search results and search strategies in the workflow. If you have any questions about using Archie or workflows, do get in touch -
Search tip

A shortcut to running a saved search in Ovid...

Deirdre Beecher got in touch with CIS Support to share a search tip for Ovid users.

If you know the name of the saved search, you can execute the command from the search screen in Ovid, without going to the list of saved searches in your account. You can do this by adding the syntax:

..e [saved search name]

Find other helpful terms for Ovid search here.
Cochrane Crowd

Cochrane Crowd is here!

This month has seen the hard launch of Cochrane’s beta platform: Cochrane Crowd:
The platform looks great and if you screened citations for the Embase project, you can log in and pick where you left off.
The team have introduced some really good new features such as offline working and the ability to screen records in areas of interest to you.
As Cochrane’s Information Specialists, we are the group with the most experience and knowledge of trial identification, and the project team would love to hear from you about what you think of the platform, the task, and how they can make it even better.
The platform will remain in beta phase for some months so do get in touch with Anna Noel-Storr ( or if you have any queries or spot any bugs!
Happy citation screening!
Training: text mining webinar

Second text mining webinar - identifying search terms

The second in our series of text mining webinars, hosted by YHEC's Julie Glanville, took place on the 16th May. Participants learned about identifying search terms, including the use of frequency analysis tools and MeSH finders.

There are more details on the Information Specialists Portal (Archie login required) and you can download the Blackboard session and listen in here.

The next in the series focuses on developing structured conceptual breakdowns in searching, and will take place on 13th June at 3pm BST.
CRS Web update

CRS Web goes live for the first early adopters

The first early adopters of CRS Web have gone live with the new system. The first iteration of the live system is restricted to three users, who will be testing and trialing all the currently available features. More early adopters will go live on the system as the summer progresses, with more CISs coming on board later in the year as further features become available.

If you are attending the Seoul Colloquium, there will be a CRS Web workshop on Saturday 22 October - more details on this will follow over the summer.
Round up from the mailing list...

Sensitivity versus precision - when should I use the "precision maximising version" of the Cochrane RCT filter?

Mark Berendsen contacted the list recently and started a discussion on when and whether to use the Cochrane precision maximising version of the Cochrane filters presented in Chapter 6 of the Cochrane Handbook.

Mark kindly shared all of the answers he'd received with the Support Team.

To put Mark's question in context, he was doing a particularly big search (14,000 records retrieved), but found that he could reduce the yield significantly to a much more manageable 5,000 using the precision maximising filter. But is this a good approach to take?

Broadly speaking, the consensus from the CIS community, was yes, provided that you are also searching CENTRAL. The precise filter can be used in circumstances like this, and the method should be accurately reported in the review. But there were some very useful suggestions for double checking that all of the evidence was being picked up.

1. Use the "NOT" command to look at records in the larger search that aren't being picked up in the smaller search. Do they look like reasonable exclusions? If not, are there other tweaks you can make to the search?
2. Talk to the author team about what they consider a reasonable number of references to be, can you reach a consensus with them?
3. Consider doing a smaller, more focused search of the last twelve months of each database, and see if there are any tips you can pick up from the results that will help you hone the search strategy.
4. Try doing some forward citation searching on relevant papers if you are worried about missing things with the precise filter.

Thanks to all the Cochrane Information Specialists who contributed to the discussion!

Filters for studies concentrating on children

Jo Elliott posted a message to the list asking whether anyone could recommend search filters aimed at retrieving studies on children. Jo has received a number of responses, which she has added to the Information Specialists' forum. Check the documents which she has uploaded for some really useful suggestions.

Disaster Lit - free database available

Ruth Foxlee contacted the list to report that free access was available to Disaster Lit. It's an English-language, grey literature resource focused on disaster medicine, which includes expert guidelines, research reports, factsheets and websites etc. Access it here.
Contact us...
Don't forget, previous editions of the Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest are available on the Cochrane Information Specialists Portal (Archie login required)

Contact the Support Team for help with any Cochrane Information Specialist related issue (including CRS technical support):
The Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team:
Liz Doney I 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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