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"...as we go down the pyramid from the top, the strength of the evidence becomes less as we consider other sources of information such as published reviews, textbooks, CME education, clinical experience, practice guidelines, patient preferences; and what is in the general domain, such as social media, Internet, monographs, and promotional materials. All of this influences clinical care, but what would be optimal is using the strongest data to make clinical decisions..."
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- 16 February 2018
See also Expert searching | Hand-searching | Network meta-analysis | Rédaction de revues systématiques: recherche documentaire | Software for systematic reviewing | Systematic review librarian
De-duplicating for systematic reviews must be accomplished with the same attention to detail as systematic review searching, and yet, few tools that accomplish deduping have been validated for their accuracy (e.g., RefWorks).
One of the major challenges in searching many bibliographic databases for the systematic review is retrieval and deduplication of citation duplicates (and even triplicates). Duplicate and triplicate citations must be removed from aggregated sets in EndNote Web or RefWorks prior to the research team reviewing the papers one at a time. Removal of duplicates ensures researchers do not waste valuable time screening the same (or very similar) papers twice. Many bibliographic and reference management software tools provide some form of deduplication (close or exact duplicates) and may even employ algorithms to match records that appear to be exact duplicates. As many librarians have shown, such a process is rarely successful on its own, and in fact requires further curation, editing and manual removal (one at a time). This is time-consuming and leads to wasted time and other resources. For more information and assistance, ask your medical librarian in your hospital or health centre. There is a freely-available deduplication tool developed by the CREBP - Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice. There are also a few papers in the literature (see below) that explain how medical librarians and researchers are going about the deduping process. Some excellent methods are even emerging such as the Bramer method (2015) which was tested by a group of health librarians and whose steps were published in the JMLA in July 2016 (see Bramer WM, Giustini D, de Jonge GB, Holland L, Bekhuis T. De-duplication of database search results for systematic reviews in EndNote. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Jul;104(3):240-3.)
- Bramer WM, Giustini D, de Jonge GB, Holland L, Bekhuis T. De-duplication of database search results for systematic reviews in EndNote. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Jul;104(3):240-3.
- Bramer W. Manual on deduplicating in EndNote – the Bramer method. Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2015.
- Bramer W, Holland L, Mollema J, Hannon T, Bekhuis T. Removing duplicates in retrieval sets from electronic databases. EAHIL Conference, 2014.
- Bramer W, Holland L, Mollema J, Hannon T, Bekhuis T. Removing duplicates in retrieval sets from electronic databases. EAHIL 2014. PowerPoint presentation. http://www.iss.it/binary/eahi/cont/57_Bramer_Wichor_slides_EAHIL_2014.pdf
- Choong MK, Thorning S, Tsafnat G. Citation enrichment improves deduplication of primary evidence. Trends and Applications in Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. Springer 2015. 237-244.
- Jiang Y, Lin C, Meng W, Yu C, Cohen AM, Smalheiser NR. Rule-based deduplication of article records from bibliographic databases. Database (Oxford). 2014 Jan; 2014:bat086.
- Kwon Y et al. Identifying and removing duplicate records from systematic review searches. J Medical Library Association : JMLA. 2015;103(4):184–188.
- Nur S, Adams CE, Brailsford DF. Using built-in functions of Adobe Acrobat ProDC to help the selection process in systematic reviews of randomised trials. Syst Rev. 2016 Feb 18;5(1):33.
- Qi X, Yang M, Ren W, Jia J, Wang J, Han G, Fan D. Find duplicates among the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases in systematic review. PLOS One. 2013;8(8):e71838.
- Rader T, Mann M, Stansfield C, Cooper C, Sampson M. Methods for documenting systematic review searches: a discussion of common issues. Res Synth Methods. 2014 Jun;5(2):98-115.
- Rathbone J, Carter M, Hoffmann T, Glasziou P. Better duplicate detection for systematic reviewers: evaluation of systematic review assistant-deduplication module. Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 14;4(1):6.