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Systematic Reviews, Scoping Reviews, and other Knowledge Syntheses

Updating the database searches using Covidence

To update your searches, we recommend rerunning your saved searches, exporting all the records to RIS files, and then importing those RIS files into Covidence for deduplication. This is our recommended approach to updating searches to retrieve new records only, as well as for removing duplicate records.

How to update a review with new studies

Alternative: Updating the database searches using indexing dates

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.

In Covidence, you can simply import all the records generated by the new/updated searches, and Covidence will remove records that have already been uploaded

Another 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 (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), Scopus, CINAHL (EBSCOhost), APA PsycInfo (Ovid), and Web of Science Core Collection (as well as others), but the entry date is not available as a search field in all databases and it may miss records.

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 May 1, 2023 (notes regarding CENTRAL and Web of Science).

Many thanks to those who reach out to let us know when there are issues or corrections needed!



See also: Garner P, Hopewell S, Chandler J, MacLehose H, Akl EA, Beyene J, Chang S, Churchill R, Dearness K, Guyatt G, Lefebvre C, Liles B, Marshall R, Martínez García L, Mavergames C, Nasser M, Qaseem A, Sampson M, Soares-Weiser K, Takwoingi Y, Thabane L, Trivella M, Tugwell P, Welsh E, Wilson EC, Schünemann HJ. When and How to Update Systematic Reviews: Consensus and Checklist. BMJ. 2016;354. 10.1136/bmj.i3507

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