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Optimizing literature search in systematic reviews – are MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL enough for identifying effect studies within the area of musculoskeletal disorders?

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medical Research Methodology, November 2016
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3 tweeters

Citations

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21 Dimensions

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74 Mendeley
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Title
Optimizing literature search in systematic reviews – are MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL enough for identifying effect studies within the area of musculoskeletal disorders?
Published in
BMC Medical Research Methodology, November 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12874-016-0264-6
Pubmed ID
Authors

Thomas Aagaard, Hans Lund, Carsten Juhl

Abstract

When conducting systematic reviews, it is essential to perform a comprehensive literature search to identify all published studies relevant to the specific research question. The Cochrane Collaborations Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) guidelines state that searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL should be considered mandatory. The aim of this study was to evaluate the MECIR recommendations to use MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL combined, and examine the yield of using these to find randomized controlled trials (RCTs) within the area of musculoskeletal disorders. Data sources were systematic reviews published by the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Review Group, including at least five RCTs, reporting a search history, searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and adding reference- and hand-searching. Additional databases were deemed eligible if they indexed RCTs, were in English and used in more than three of the systematic reviews. Relative recall was calculated as the number of studies identified by the literature search divided by the number of eligible studies i.e. included studies in the individual systematic reviews. Finally, cumulative median recall was calculated for MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL combined followed by the databases yielding additional studies. Deemed eligible was twenty-three systematic reviews and the databases included other than MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL was AMED, CINAHL, HealthSTAR, MANTIS, OT-Seeker, PEDro, PsychINFO, SCOPUS, SportDISCUS and Web of Science. Cumulative median recall for combined searching in MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL was 88.9% and increased to 90.9% when adding 10 additional databases. Searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL was not sufficient for identifying all effect studies on musculoskeletal disorders, but additional ten databases did only increase the median recall by 2%. It is possible that searching databases is not sufficient to identify all relevant references, and that reviewers must rely upon additional sources in their literature search. However further research is needed.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 74 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 1%
Unknown 73 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 14 19%
Librarian 10 14%
Student > Bachelor 8 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 11%
Other 6 8%
Other 17 23%
Unknown 11 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 18 24%
Nursing and Health Professions 18 24%
Social Sciences 6 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 5 7%
Arts and Humanities 4 5%
Other 12 16%
Unknown 11 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 December 2016.
All research outputs
#9,418,311
of 16,030,878 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medical Research Methodology
#1,013
of 1,512 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#189,875
of 391,510 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medical Research Methodology
#83
of 137 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,030,878 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 39th percentile – i.e., 39% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,512 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 9.6. This one is in the 30th percentile – i.e., 30% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 391,510 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 48th percentile – i.e., 48% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 137 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 35th percentile – i.e., 35% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.