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*Unfortunately cancelled* An Online Workshop: Advanced Searching in Systematic Reviews

Aim: The aim of the workshop is to raise awareness and build capacity for extended search skills for systematic reviews that go beyond traditional, basic bibliographic database searching.

June 8, 2022
Online Event
09:30 - 15:00

Workshop Summary:

This workshop will introduce systematic searching for evidence synthesists. We will begin with a brief summary of methods for searching bibliographic databases (like Scopus), before spending time gaining practical experience of tools to help design search strategies (including litsearchr, 2DSearch, and polyglot) and non-traditional resources useful in complementing bibliographic databases (e.g., Dimensions and OpenAlex). We will then hear about important additional sources of evidence that should be searched in systematic reviews: so-called ‘hand searching’; citation chasing; searching of thesis repositories and preprint servers; website searching (including basic web-scraping); and public calls for file-drawer research. Finally, we will spend time thinking about how to ensure that our search activities are reported transparently.

Workshop Format: c. 6-hr intensive workshop with presentations, practicals and Q&A

Skill level: Advanced


This workshop is intended for people who already have at least a basic knowledge of bibliographic searching who wish to learn more about methods and tools for extended searching in evidence syntheses. No prior experience of coding is necessary: all practical exercises and tools will allow for the use of full user interfaces that everyone will be familiar with.

Teaching strategies: 

The workshop will use a combination of presentations, individual exercises, group exercises and discussions

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the nature of traditional bibliographic searching in systematic reviews
  • Be aware of additional novel resources that complement bibliographic database searches
  • Gain experience searching additional novel resources that complement bibliographic database searches
  • Be aware of tools that can help researchers to construct search strings for use in major bibliographic databases
  • Gain experience using tools that can help construct search strings
  • Understand the range of additional searching methods for identifying potentially relevant evidence in a systematic review
  • Be aware of tools to support additional searching methods
  • Gain experience using tools for additional searching methods
  • Understand the importance of full and transparent search strategy reporting in evidence syntheses
  • Be aware of tools to support full and transparent search strategy reporting
  • Gain experience using tools supporting full and transparent search strategy reporting


Dr Neal Haddaway

Dr Neal Haddaway is a Senior Research Fellow at SEI in Sweden and a Humbold Research Fellow at Zalf in Germany, researching evidence synthesis methodology and conducting systematic reviews and maps. He is also on the CEE Board of Trustees and the cofounder of the Evidence Synthesis Hackathon ( and ESMARConf ( His work focuses on improving transparency, efficiency and reliability in evidence synthesis as a methodology and supporting evidence synthesis in resource constrained contexts using technology.

Read further about Dr Neal Haddaway HERE

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
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Event Organiser Details
Name Carrie Hall, Administration, Campbell UK and Ireland