The pages here will provide an introduction to constructing comprehensive searches in the health sciences resources. However, the best course of action is to consult with a librarian for individual guidance. Refer to the Hardin Services page for additional details or contact the librarian for your subject area directly.
Reviews that aim to minimize chance of bias may include additional sources after database searching is completed. Depending on the topic, one or all of the below methods may be appropriate. A librarian can help develop an appropriate plan.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends working with a librarian or other information specialist to design the search strategy for a systematic review. Typically at least three databases are used for a systematic review.
Projects completed with librarian support have been associated with higher quality reporting of methods.See references below:
Rethlefsen, M. L., Farrell, A. M., Osterhaus Trzasko, L. C., & Brigham, T. J. (2015). Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(6), 617-626. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.025 view full text
Koffel, J. B. (2015). Use of recommended search strategies in systematic reviews and the impact of librarian involvement: a cross-sectional survey of recent authors. PloS One, 10(5), e0125931. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0125931 view full text
Schellinger, J., Sewell, K., Bloss, J. E., Ebron, T., & Forbes, C. (2021). The effect of librarian involvement on the quality of systematic reviews in dental medicine. PloS One, 16(9), e0256833. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256833 view full text