There are different methods that you can use to update your searches, and they are usually database-specific. What you are trying to do is avoid screening the same records all over again.
One method is to restrict records to those entered into the database on or after the date you last ran the search (note: this is NOT the publication date, this is the date the record was added to the database, and this date field is not available in all databases).
This can be done in PubMed, MEDLINE on Ovid, Embase, Scopus, CINAHL, and PsycINFO (as well as others), but unfortunately the entry date is not available as a search field in Cochrane or Web of Science.
Please note: The field codes are subject to change and we strongly suggest checking the database information, particularly at the beginning of a new year, when indexing changes are more likely to occur. Please also let us know if you identify issues with these codes. This table was last updated January 12, 2021.
Many thanks to those who reach out to let us know when there are issues or corrections needed!
Search Field to Use
Example: Updating a search on March 3, 2019 (20190301) last run on November 19, 2015 (20151119):
|CINAHL||EBSCOhost||EM (Entry date) (field code info)||
EM 20151119-20190301 then use AND to join this line to the last line of your search
Note: Be sure "Select a Field (Optional)" is visible in the dropdown menu if you are entering the EM code in the search box yourself, or choose EM from the dropdown menu and enter 20151119-20190301
EM 20151119- will update to the most current date starting Nov. 19, 2015
EM -20151119 will update from inception (earliest available date) to Nov. 19, 2015
|Embase||OvidSP||.dc. (field code info)||limit x to dc=20151119-20190301|
|MEDLINE||OvidSP||.dt,ez,da. (field code info)||
(20151119 or 2015112* or 2015113* or 201512* or 2016* or 2017* or 2018* or 2019*).dt,ez,da. then use AND to join this line to the last line of your search
(da refers to the date that MeSH are added to a record and may increase the likelihood of picking up records that have already been screened, but can identify newly indexed records previously missed by textword searching)
For multi-line syntax less subject to data entry error, see also: Technical Supplement to Chapter 4 of the Cochrane Handbook, p. 70
|PsycINFO||OvidSP||.up. (field code info)||limit x to up=20151119-20190301|
#x AND (("2015/11/19"[CRDT] : "3000"[CRDT]) OR ("2015/11/19"[EDAT] : "3000"[EDAT]) OR ("2015/11/19"[MHDA] : "3000"[MHDA]))
(MHDA refers to the date that MeSH are added to a record and may increase the likelihood of picking up records that have already been screened, but can identify newly indexed records previously missed by textword searching)
|Scopus||ORIG-LOAD-DATE AFT||ORIG-LOAD-DATE AFT 20151118|
Here is an example of how you can restrict Ovid MEDLINE or PubMed records to only those records that you had not previously screened from the original MEDLINE search:
You can also merge old and new records from other database searches (e.g., in databases that do not have a field referring to the date the record was added to the database, such as Web of Science, Cochrane Library):
Due to a large influx of requests, there may be an extended wait time for librarian support on knowledge syntheses.
Find a librarian in your subject area to help you with your knowledge synthesis project.