Background: The Campbell Collaboration is embarking on a series of methods reviews, in which the intention is to examine the extent to which Campbell reviews comply with Campbell standards; identify and encourage good practice; and, to compare methods applied in Campbell reviews to non-Campbell reviews.
Objectives: The methods review in question concerns information retrieval for Campbell reviews, and constitutes analysing the reproducibility of searches from Campbell reviews, as well as mapping the resources and/or methods used to identify studies, i.e. databases, contacting authors, reviewing reference lists, backwards and forwards citation checks, snowballing, etc.
Methods: As reporting standards have presumably improved over the years, we propose to code and extract information-retrieval data from all full reviews from 2010 and onwards (88 reviews) on the following items:
- Methods/sources used
- Reproducibility of searches (e.g. exact search strategies, end/start date provided)
- Information specialist involvement
We will also consider screening other systematic reviews in similar fields.
Furthermore, we would like to see if there has been an improvement in information-retrieval reporting standards since the introduction of specific reporting standards for Campbell (October, 2014).
Using the methods applied by Koffel et al. (2016), we will be able to compare reporting of searches in Campbell reviews to those of systematic reviews in high-impact pediatrics, cardiology and surgery journals; potentially also to identify predictors for inclusion of reproducible search strategies, e.g. topic/group; information specialist involvement; or referral to a conduct or reporting standard.
Results: We plan to present the preliminiary results of our ongoing work.
Koffel JB, Rethlefsen ML (2016). Reproducibility of Search Strategies Is Poor in Systematic Published in High-Impact Pediatrics, Cardiology and Surgery Journals: A Cross-Sectional Study
PLoS ONE 11(9) 2016. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163309