Study-based registers reduce waste in systematic reviewing: discussion and case report
Adams, Clive E.
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BACKGROUND: Maintained study-based registers (SBRs) have, at their core, study records linked to, potentially, multiple other records such as references, data sets, standard texts and full-text reports. Such registers can minimise and refine searching, de-duplicating, screening and acquisition of full texts. SBRs can facilitate new review titles/updates and, within seconds, inform the team about the potential workload of each task. METHODS: We discuss the advantages/disadvantages of SBRs and report a case of how such a register was used to develop a successful grant application and deliver results-reducing considerable redundancy of effort. RESULTS: SBRs saved time in question-setting and scoping and made rapid production of nine Cochrane systematic reviews possible. CONCLUSION: Whilst helping prioritise and conduct systematic reviews, SBRs improve quality. Those funding information specialists for literature reviewing could reasonably stipulate the resulting SBR to be delivered for dissemination and use beyond the life of the project.