“Available Upon Reasonable Request”: Search strategy sharing statements and practices in published systematic reviews

Date

2023

Authors

Premji, Zahra
Neilson, Christine

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Canadian Health Libraries Association

Abstract

Introduction: There has been an increased emphasis on research transparency and data sharing in recent years. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guideline was created in 2009, and updated in 2021, to improve transparency of published systematic reviews (SRs). The PRISMA checklist clearly states that complete search strategies should be reported but authors may not adhere to the guideline. A 2017 scoping review on PRISMA compliance showed that the pooled adherence to item #8 (inclusion of search strategy) of the PRISMA checklist was ~62% (Page & Moher, 2017). Some review authors opt to include a statement that the search strategy is available on request, rather than publish them with the review manuscript. This study examined published SRs containing search strategy availability statements and their subsequent sharing practices. Methods: We conducted fulltext searches using Google Scholar, Lens.org, Academic Search Complete, and EBSCO Medline to identify English-language SRs containing search availability statements that were published in the past five years. Results were deduplicated and screened using Covidence software. Results: 155 SRs were included for data extraction. While some authors readily shared their search strategies, others did not. Reproducibility of the shared strategies varied. Failure to share search strategies reduces transparency and may bring the quality of the overall work into question. References: Page, M. J., & Moher, D. (2017). Evaluations of the uptake and impact of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement and extensions: a scoping review. Systematic reviews, 6(1), 263. doi: 10.1186/s13643-017-0663-8

Description

Poster presented at CHLA 2023 annual conference in Halifax, NS Citation for the previously published abstract: Premji, Z & Neilson, C. (2023). “Available Upon Reasonable Request”: Search strategy sharing statements and practices in published systematic reviews [Abstract]. https://www.chla-absc.ca/docs/CHLAABSC2023_FullProgram_20230525.pdf

Keywords

Systematic reviews, Search strategies

Citation

Premji, Z., & Neilson, C. (2023). “Available Upon Reasonable Request”: Search strategy sharing statements and practices in published systematic reviews. [Poster Presentation]. Canadian Health Libraries Association. Halifax, NS.