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Exhaustive or Exhausting? An Interactive Panel on Efficiency in Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses

Event Date: November 2, 2018
Location: Webinar — Friday, November 2nd, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 pm
Result type: Events

Producing high-quality but timely systematic reviews and health technology assessments (HTAs) for informing policy and decision-making is an ongoing challenge. Systematic, comprehensive searching is recognized as a critical component in retrieving all relevant studies, but a large volume of search results can greatly lengthen the process. Librarians and Information Specialists have the tools and experience with which to conduct pragmatic, targeted literature searches to retrieve the most relevant articles, balancing this against a certain risk of missing publications. On the other hand, ever-larger retrievals are inevitable as journal and grey literature grow exponentially. Is it preferable to simply search exhaustively and use screening efficiencies, such as crowd screening or machine learning, to manage the retrieval size?

Join us to ask some provocative questions at our interactive panel session on Friday, November 2nd, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 pm. Our panel members —Margaret Sampson, Jessie McGowan, and Amanda Hodgson — moderated by David Kaunelis will discuss the current environment of searching and screening efficiencies in systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and HTA. We look forward to a lively discussion!

The session will be presented in English and can be attended by webinar.

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Margaret Sampson is the medical librarian at CHEO‒Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where she supports systematic reviews conducted by hospital investigators and trainees. Her research has focused on improving search quality and achieving efficiencies through database selection and streamlined update searches. With Jessie McGowan, Margaret was a lead on the original version of PRESS: Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies, and the 2015 update. Margaret has also been involved in developing several generations of systematic review software.

Jessie McGowan is an editor at CMAJ; Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa School of Epidemiology, Public Health, and Preventive Medicine; an associate editor with the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology; and a health information consultant with over 20 years of experience. She is an expert systematic review searcher and co-developer of the PRESS checklist, as well as a convener of the Cochrane Information Methods Retrieval Group. Jessie has taught evidence-based medicine, HTA, and guidelines; library services development, needs assessment and knowledge translation; and the integration of technologies with health information.

David Kaunelis is the methods specialist for Research Information Services (RIS) at CADTH. As a methods specialist, he is involved with methodological issues, search filter development, peer review of literature searches, and the streamlining of RIS processes at CADTH. He has also served as an information specialist for various CADTH products including formulary reviews, rapid responses, HTAs, and Optimal Use reports. David holds an MLIS from Dalhousie University. He is a former Chair of the Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Information Retrieval Group and currently serves on its Executive Committee.

Amanda Hodgson is a manager on the RIS team at CADTH, overseeing methods and processes for literature searches conducted for HTAs, systematic reviews, economic evaluations, and Horizon Scanning reports. Amanda has taught grey literature searching for systematic reviews for many years.