Farhad Shokraneh, University of Nottingham
Search methods are part of the research methods in systematic reviews and evidence synthesis. Running a robust search requires following the existing evidence in selection of databases and search filters, addition of limitations, and inclusion of a search methodologist in your team. While a proper evidence-based search protocol could reduce waste and increase value in systematic reviewing, proper reporting should make your search a piece of science.
The search methods should be reported in a way that anyone who have access to the databases could repeat the search strategies and search methods (reproducibility) and retrieve the same or very similar search results both in terms of content and numbers (replicability). Following the minimum requirement for reporting the search, the team could produce an evidence-based search method that could be re-used by the readers. The team could also share the search results, as part of their research data, to prevent duplicate efforts for the researchers who want to update the review.
Farhad Shokraneh studied Medical Library and Information Science for seven years and was a clinical librarian in an emergency department for a short time. He worked as a research fellow in Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology for two years. Farhad later joined Cochrane Schizophrenia Group in University of Nottingham to manage the largest database of schizophrenia trials and to update over 320 Cochrane reviews. He is also a volunteer with 14 Cochrane groups.
He ran his first systematic review search in 2004 and continued providing search and consultancy services to academic, clinical and policy making teams around the world for over 2,000 grant applications, clinical trials, economic evaluations, rapid reviews, scoping reviews, umbrella reviews, systematic reviews, overviews, health technology assessments, and clinical practice guidelines.