The search process needs to be documented in enough detail throughout the process to ensure that it can be reported correctly in the review, to the extent that all the searches of all the databases are reproducible. It should be borne in mind at the outset that the full search strategies for each database will need to be included in an Appendix of the review. The search strategies will need to be copied and pasted exactly as run and included in full, together with the search set numbers and the number of records retrieved. (Cochrane Handbook, 4.5)
TIP! Start documenting the search process from day one and continue to the end.
TIP! Create an account with the databases that you search and save your searches.
Examples of documented search methodologies:
Other universities have developed templates to help with the documentation process:
Cochrane strongly encourage that review authors include a study flow diagram as recommended by the PRISMA statement.
Example: PRISMA 2020 flow diagram for new systematic reviews which included searches of databases and registers only: