Managing your search results

It is essential to keep records of the search strategies you use and the references that you find, if you are to make your searches repeatable.

If you plan to publish an evidence synthesis, then the target publisher may have reporting standards that you need to follow. For examples, see:

The process of scanning the results of a database search generally goes as follows:

  • Title sift – scanning all the titles your search pulls up to see if they are really relevant to your question (and discard those that are not).
  • Abstract sift – reading through the abstracts from your title sift to see if they are really relevant to your question.
  • Full-text sift – reading through the full manuscripts from your abstract sift to see if they are really relevant to your question.
  • Studies included in your review.

Following this process you will be left with the studies to include in your review.

FACT

“An ability to sort through a mountain of data, evaluate the quality of findings, and obtain what is useful and relevant is a skill needed by the twenty-first century equine veterinarian as much as the ability to pass a tube or perform a rectal palpation” Nolen-Walston et al. (2007)