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Preparing, doing & documenting a search

The following sections have suggestions and links to websites, videos and documents to help with the search part of doing a systematic review.

Chapter 4 of the Cochrane Handbook is on Searching for and selecting studies. It includes where to search, when to stop searching and software for selecting studies.

Other useful resources on the search process are

Library support for systematic reviews at the Unversity of Auckland

Research Services advisers can provide guidance and assistance with:

  • formulating your search strategy
  • appropriate databases to use
  • general feedback and things to look out for when translating a search strategy across databases
  • one-off general feedback on your search strategy for your first systematic review

Research Services advisers are not able to construct or execute the search on your behalf.

Please use Ask us to book a consultation with a Research Services adviser.

Re-inventing the wheel ie has your topic already been done


Framework to create a focused question eg PICO, PICo, PEO...

Search strategies & filters

Which databases to search

How to search the databases

Peer review your final search strategy

Documenting and reporting your search

Updating a database search

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Philson Library systematic review workshop handout: Information on the searching process.

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