Supplementary searches of PubMed to improve currency of MEDLINE and MEDLINE In-Process searches via Ovid

Steven Duffy, Shelley de Kock, Kate Misso, Caro Noake, Janine Ross, Lisa Stirk


Objective: The research investigated whether conducting a supplementary search of PubMed in addition to the main MEDLINE (Ovid) search for a systematic review is worthwhile and to ascertain whether this PubMed search can be conducted quickly and if it retrieves unique, recently published, and ahead-of-print studies that are subsequently considered for inclusion in the final systematic review.

Methods: Searches of PubMed were conducted after MEDLINE (Ovid) and MEDLINE In-Process (Ovid) searches had been completed for seven recent reviews. The searches were limited to records not in MEDLINE or MEDLINE In-Process (Ovid).

Results: Additional unique records were identified for all of the investigated reviews. Search strategies were adapted quickly to run in PubMed, and reviewer screening of the results was not time consuming. For each of the investigated reviews, studies were ordered for full screening; in six cases, studies retrieved from the supplementary PubMed searches were included in the final systematic review.

Conclusion: Supplementary searching of PubMed for studies unavailable elsewhere is worthwhile and improves the currency of the systematic reviews.


Databases, Bibliographic; Information Storage and Retrieval; Medical Subject Headings; MEDLINE; PubMed; Review Literature as Topic

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Copyright (c) 2016 Steven Duffy, PgDip, Shelley de Kock, BLIS, Kate Misso, MSc, Caro Noake, MA, Janine Ross, MSc, Lisa Stirk, MScEcon

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