3.6 Building a search strategy


For each database, search terms defined in the preparation phase will be mapped to the Thesaurus terms of the database (when available). Mapping can be achieved using the built-in functionality of the search interface, or manually by looking at the indexation of previously identified pertinent articles. Attention will need to be paid to the explosion tool (sometimes selected by default linke in PubMed, sometimes not like in OVID Medline).

The most important synonyms of the Thesaurus terms identified for each facet will also be added to the search strategy as text word. Advanced functionalities of the search interfaces will be used (see below: truncation, wildcard, proximity operators).

The terms within a specific facet will be combined with the Boolean operator ‘OR’ in order to group all articles dealing with this facet. For some concepts, special queries (also called search filters) have been developed (see below). The resulting groups of articles will then be combined using the Boolean operator ‘AND’.

It is recommended to validate each search strategy by a second reviewer.