Updating search strategies for literature reviews with OUR2D2: an open-source computer application





literature search, open access, collaborative work


Background: While writing a scoping review, we needed to update our search strategy. We wanted to capture articles generated by our additional search terms and articles published since our original search. Simultaneously, we strove to optimize project resources by not rescreening articles that had been captured in our original results.

Case presentation: In response, we created Open Update Re-run Deduplicate (OUR2D2), a computer application that allows the user to compare search results from a variety of library databases. OUR2D2 supports extensible markup language (XML) files from EndNote and comma-separated values (CSV) files using article titles for comparisons. We conducted unit tests to ensure appropriate functionality as well as accurate data extraction and analysis. We tested OUR2D2 by comparing original and updated search results from PubMed, Embase, Clarivate Web of Science, CINAHL, Scopus, ProQuest Dissertation and Theses, and Lens and estimate that this application saved twenty-one hours of work during the screening process.

Conclusions: OUR2D2 could be useful for individuals seeking to update literature review strategies across fields without rescreening articles from previous searches. Because the OUR2D2 source code is freely available with a permissive license, we recommend this application for researchers conducting literature reviews who need to update their search results over time, want a powerful and flexible analysis framework, and may not have access to paid subscription tools.

Author Biographies

Abby M Lohr, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Health Promotion Sciences Department, PhD Candidate

Noah Van Gorden, Arizona State University, School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

MCS Student

D Jean McClelland, University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Health Promotion Sciences Department, Program Director for Community Based Health Information Resources

Ellen Dubinsky, University of Arizona Libraries

Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship, Scholarly Communication Librarian

Lynn B Gerald, University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Health Promotion Sciences Department, Professor

Ada Wilkinson-Lee, University of Arizona, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Mexican American Studies, Associate Professor

Scott C Carvajal, University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Health Promotion Sciences Department, Professor


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Case Report