Systematic Searching

Writing high quality systematic reviews and evidence based guidelines depends on a range of skills and specialised knowledge, such as systematic searching. If the systematic identification of relevant research findings is done poorly, a review's findings may be biased.

Systematic searching involves knowing the inclusion / exclusion criteria for study inclusion, knowing where to look (eg, sources of published and unpublished data), and knowing how to search effectively. It is complex, so often specialist information professionals are employed to systematically search. Useful searching guides / websites include:

It is important that Australian research, sometimes unindexed in major bibliographic databases, is included in reviews. Finding Australian Content in Health: A Select List of Australian Internet Sites (35kb pdf) lists Australian organisations with an explicit interest in evidence-based practice, or which provide access to a substantial body of Australian literature.

Useful databases, organisations and CareSearch information, relating specifically to palliative care, includes: