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Public Health Portal Research Guide

Online books, journals, websites, databases, and other resoruces to support educational programs and research in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Review Tools

Review types

Guidelines for a Systematic Review

Searching standards for Systematic Reviews

"Searcher credentials are not a requirement of the PRISMA checklist, although the MOOSE
checklist does request the qualifications of the searchers to be reported in the review (Moher et al., 2009; Stroup
et al., 2000). An expert searcher is an individual that possesses the knowledge as well as the skill to implement
the techniques and strategies necessary to locating information. It is a skill that comes with experience and
practice. It is not easily quantifiable, but it is an individual with experience developing and implementing
complex searches (Jankowski, 2008; Sampson et al., 2008b). Recent publications from the IOM and Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) have stated the necessity to include a librarian or expert searcher in
the formulation of a systematic search strategy...
. A systematic review team can be substantially benefitted from a skilled and experienced searcher who understands journal indexing, database architecture and knowledge of the various specialized registries
available to locate ongoing research (McGowan and Sampson, 2005; Zhang et al., 2006). Additionally, an
experienced searcher will be well versed in the documentation and description of the search at the time of
publication and should be considered for acknowledgement or as an author if they meet the journal standards
for publication. Given all the benefits, we recommend including an individual with systematic search skills and
experience or at least consulting this type of individual before conducting the search and making this
information available in the methods
(Sampson et al., 2008b)."

Mullins, M. M., DeLuca, J. B., Crepaz, N., & Lyles, C. M. (2014). Reporting quality of search methods in systematic reviews of HIV behavioral interventions (2000-2010): are the searches clearly explained, systematic and reproducible? Research Synthesis Methods, 5(2), 116-130. doi:10.1002/jrsm.1098 [doi]