Your search strategy (search process) should be documented in detail and accurately in the systematic review to ensure that it is transparent and reproducible.
The following items should be recorded for EACH of the databases included in your search:
There are a number of places where searches can be reported. It can be described briefly in the Methods or the Abstract section of the review while the detailed description can be made available as Appendix of the report.
For example, this systematic review published in Cochrane provides search details in the Methods section and full search strategies in the Appendices.
da Silva, E. M. K., Hochman, B., & Ferreira, L. M. (2014). Perioperative corticosteroids for preventing complications following facial plastic surgery. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,6 (6), CD009697-CD009697.
PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Click Searching: Recording & Reporting for more resources on reporting your searches in Cochrane systematic reviews.
Remove duplications of the search - Systematic review involves searching multiple databases. As different databases often have overlap in content (journal) coverage, removing duplicates is necessary to ensure a valid and reliable pool of included studies. Most reference management tools and systematic review tools can help remove duplicates automatically.
► Reference Management Tool
Reference management tool (also called bibliographic management tool), such as Endnote and RefWorks, does not only help you format citations for your research papers, the tool can be used to support the SR process. For example,
The resources listed below show how reference management tool can help with the SR process:
► Systematic Review Tool
Alternatively, you can use the SR tool to manage search results and remove duplicated record.
Other SR tools which have similar functions are: