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Systematic Reviews

Reference interview

Neutral Questioning:

Neutral questions are open in form and structured in content terms that invite the user to talk about specific elements—situations, gaps, uses.

Examples of Neutral Questions

To assess the situation: To assess the gaps: To assess the uses: 
 Tell me how this problem arose. What would you like to know about X?  How are you planning to use this information?
What are you trying to do in this situation? What seems to be missing in your understanding of X? If you could have exactly the help you wanted, what would it be?
What happened that got you stopped? What are you trying to understand?  What will it help you do?

Can you describe the kind of information you would like to find?

Tell me what you’re ultimately trying to do, so I can head in the right direction. Can you give me a little background on your interest in this?
Is there a specific question you are trying to answer? What are you hoping to find?  How will this help you?

 Example from: Cowgill Allison A. , Feldmann Louise , and Bowles A. Robin.  Virtual Reference Interviewing and Neutral Questioning Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow Ten Foreword T 37

Steps for developing the search

  • Find previous relevant searches -
    • Check Cochrane
    • Use the Yale mesh analyzer - up to 20 pubmed articles.
  • List databases
  • Search one database at a time - each database is structured in a different way.
  • Search terms and design search
    • Develop a search plan based on your criteria  -terms,  keywords, thesaurus, limits.
    • Use a search filter - ask your librarian for more information on search filters.
    • Minimize bias
    • Guidelines for search - standards - MECCIR - Campbell collaboration
  • Evaluate and modify 
  • Document the search -  name, host, date of search, databases covered, years covered, search terms, language. 
  • Translate the search to other databases. - checking the keywords, headings in each database.

Article:Jenkins M. Evaluation of methodological search filters--a review. Health Information And Libraries Journal. 2004;21(3):148-163. 

Collect and edit your resources.

EndNote is a program that helps users collect and organize references from online or other sources, create a searchable personal database of references, find full text articles, manage and annotate PDF files, cite references while writing a paper, create bibliographies formatted in a preferred style, and more. 

Further information is available from the above  link to the salus site. 

The Health Department IT Department provides access to EndNote for staff members by completing the request form. 

Library staff will assist in providing instruction in the use of EndNote.

Reference: mdanderson.libguides on EndNote - a guide for setting your preferences, creating group and exporting results in EndNote

Rayyan-a web and mobile app for systematic reviews  Rayyan is a free screening tool that uses textmining for screening prioritization.  Rayyan is currently the first choice when choosing screening tools as it  is easy to use with good importing and organizing features. The textmining function speeds up the process, since you can order relevant articles while the abstracts are being screened. 

Olofsson H, Brolund A, Hellberg C, Silverstein R, Stenstrom K, Osterberg M, et al. Can abstract screening workload be reduced using text mining? User experiences of the tool Rayyan. Res Synth Methods 2017.

Link to abstract:

Sysrev is a platform for collaborative extraction of data from academic articles and abstracts, PDF documents, and other entities.

Covidence - "working in partnership with Cochrane to improve the production and use of systematic reviews for health and wellbeing".

  • title/abstract screening, full text screening, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment -  required by reviewers doing Cochrane systematic reviews.  
  • SA Health does not have a subscription with Covidence, however you can register for a free trial which will allow you to undertake a single review shared between two reviewers, limited to a maximum of 500 papers
  • Article on the difference between Covidence and Rayyan

Links checked 19/06/2019