Searching for evidence

Searching for Cochrane Work Systematic Reviews 

Our aim is to help users of research evidence cross the most difficult barrier, i.e. knowing how to search for - and hopefully find - reports of research studies in electronic databases such as Medline. It is always highly recommended to seek the assistance of an information specialist in designing and running searches. This Cochrane Work search page aims to provide sufficient support for information specialists and skilled searchers to design their search strategy ready for peer review by the Cochrane Work Information Specialist (CWIS). On this page you'll find information about:

  1. Searching bibliographic databases: guidelines and requirements
  2. Search filters
  3. Searching trial registers
  4. Record management
  5. Additional support by Cochrane Work

 1. Searching bibliographic databases: guidelines and requirements 

Chapter 4 of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions ( a guideline to all requirements regarding searching. 

Further information: 

2. Search filters 

Search filters are search strategies developed for specific databases focusing on a specific topic or study design within a certain context. These search strategies can be adapted in search strategies for Cochrane Work SR’s. You can find them here.

Name DescriptionSource
IISG Search Filters Resource The InterTASC Information Specialists' Sub-Group (ISSG) is the group of information professionals supporting research groups within England and Scotland providing technology assessments to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other associated Information Specialists. The InterTASC Information Specialists' Sub-Group Search Filter Resource is a collaborative venture to identify, assess and test search filters designed to retrieve research by study design or focus. 
SIGN: Search Filters The search filters used by SIGN are developed in-house or are created by other research organisations and adapted to meet SIGN information needs. SIGN's filters may provide less sensitive searches than used by other systematic reviewers such as The Cochrane Collaboration, but enable the retrieval of medical studies that are most likely to match SIGN's methodological criteria. 
HIRU - Hedges (McMaster) The focus of the Hedges Project (...), which is funded by the National Library of Medicine, is to investigate ways to develop and harness search filters ("hedges") that will improve retrieval of scientifically sound and clinically relevant study reports from large, general purpose, biomedical research bibliographic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO.

3Online tutorials 

Here is a brief overview of relevant online tutorials available to authors: 

4. Record management 

A guide to de-duplication of bibliographic records in Endnote: Bramer, Wichor M et al. “De-duplication of database search results for systematic reviews in EndNote.” Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA vol. 104,3 (2016): 240-3. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.104.3.014. 

5. Additional support by Cochrane Work

Cochrane Work offers the following degrees of support regarding search strategies for Cochrane Work Systematic Reviews:
  1. Consultancy
  2. (Peer-) review of search strategies developed by the author team
  3. Translation and running of searches in required databases
  4. Full support (designing the search strategy, reporting and delivery of de-duplicated bibliographic records) 

Due to limited resources we can't provide level 3 or 4 support for all Cochrane Work Systematic Reviews. Please get in touch with us if you need additional support by Cochrane Work: CochraneWork[at] Read more about our additional support here