PRISMA-S: an extension to the PRISMA statement for reporting literature searches in systematic reviews

Melissa L. Rethlefsen, Shona Kirtley, Siw Waffenschmidt, Ana Patricia Ayala, David Moher, Matthew J. Page, Jonathan B. Koffel, PRISMA-S Group


Background: Literature searches underlie the foundations of systematic reviews and related review types. Yet, the literature searching component of systematic reviews and related review types is often poorly reported. Guidance for literature search reporting has been diverse and, in many cases, does not offer enough detail to authors who need more specific information about reporting search methods and information sources in a clear, reproducible way. This document presents the PRISMA-S (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses literature search extension) checklist, and explanation and elaboration.

Methods: The checklist was developed using a three-stage Delphi survey process, followed by a consensus conference and public review process.

Results: The final checklist includes sixteen reporting items, each of which is detailed with exemplar reporting and rationale.

Conclusions:The intent of PRISMA-S is to complement the PRISMA Statement and its extensions by providing a checklist that could be used by interdisciplinary authors, editors, and peer reviewers to verify that each component of a search is completely reported and, therefore, reproducible.


Systematic Reviews; Reporting Guidelines; Search Strategies; Literature Search; Information Retrieval; Reproducibility

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