The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Is Google a reliable tool for trial searches?

By Beth Adams, Work Experience at CSzG

There are around 91 million Google searches done across the world each day. So it’s needless to say it’s a huge part of day to day life, as well as the “go to” place for information. But when we search, can we just presume we are seeing all the possible results?

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To test Google’s reliability, we set out to investigate the yield of search terms across all Google search engines.

We selected 11 phrases, chosen for relevance, currency, and possible controversial connotations including, ‘randomized’ and ‘randomized and schizophrenia’ for the theme of randomized trials, to have both a general and specific search. Then, we searched each phrase on the 137 Google sites across the world on the same day (7th – 8th July 2013). This allowed us to record the number of results on each of the sites to work out the comparative percentages.  You’d expect them to be consistent and reliable, but were they? Read the rest of this entry »

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Day 2: Searching for studies and using Review Manager (RevMan)

Who would have thought you had to have a search strategy for systematic review writing?  I thought you might just go onto Google and search for bits of your title like Clozapine or schizophrenia.  Apparently, as Judy Wright, Senior Information Specialist (and previous TSC for the CSzG) presents, it’s a little more complicated than that.  You have to consider all the different ways someone may have studied what you want to review, for example if you’re writing a systematic review on cycling helmets you may need to search in a studies database for ‘cycling’, ‘cyclists’, ‘bicyclist’, ‘helmets’ etc.  Within Cochrane it’s a lot easier to search as we’ve got Trial Search Coordinators, basically search strategy ninjas.  They can search a lot quicker than we ever could and uncover those small scale studies hidden beneath the pile of big ‘name in lights’ studies.  All studies have relevance, no matter the size, quality or country of origin.  Mona Nassar, a co-convenor of the Cochrane Agenda and Priority Setting Methods Group highlighted this article in a conversation on Twitter, you might find it helpful if you’re starting a systematic review any time soon. Read the rest of this entry »

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Day 1: What’s in a name…of a systematic review?

I only attended the last half of the first day of the Cochrane Systematic Review Course and I feel I missed out.  I arrived to find a mass of squiggles in lots of different colours all over the posh looking white boards in the Engineering & Science Learning Centre in The University of Nottingham.  What did it all mean?  Was this the Da Vinci Code of systematic reviews?

Day one of the systematic review course 2013

It seems so.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ferreting in CRS and RevMan…it’s technical

By Angelique Bodart, the Editorial Assistant for the CSzG

An interview with two 3rd year students on the Information Management and Healthcare course at the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm, Germany

When they were asked where they would like their 3rd year work placement to be they did not choose Hawaii or Brazil like their fellow students, they chose the UK.  What they got was a placement with us, the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group in Nottingham, an eager Coordinating Editor and lots of small projects ready for them to run with.  So far they have been presented with two projects, both originally considered reasonably small but as with all technological advancement these project grew, in difficulty and further development ideas.  This is an insight into the work they’ve been doing for us over the past three months and will continue to develop over the next two. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review Manager: How to make review writing easy

By Jun Xia, Research Assistant for the CSzG and the Director or Research and Teaching for Systematic Review Solutions

Attachments: RevMan tutorial menu

Review Manager (RevMan) is the Cochrane Collaboration‘s programme for preparing and maintaining Cochrane reviews.  More importantly it’s a FREE programme to all researchers, not just members of Cochrane.  A Cochrane Review is a systematic, up-to-date summary of reliable evidence of the benefits and risks of healthcare.  Through RevMan, authors can create protocols and full reviews, using the programme to enter text, data and run meta-analysis of the data with results from the meta-analysis presented graphically. The programme has been created by the Cochrane and is constantly being developed via consultation with its users.  All Cochrane Reviews are now created using RevMan, resulting in publication of uniformly high quality reviews across Cochrane groups. Read the rest of this entry »

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