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Documenting Searches in the Sciences: Home

The whys & hows of how to document your literature searches & systematic reviews.

Is your article "fit for purpose"?

Have you included sufficient data & detail in your article so that others can replicate your research or use your data in systematic reviews?  Find the guideline checklist for your study type at Equator (Enhancing the Quality of and Transparency of Health Research)

Equator - keeping up with how to report research

Simera I, et al.  Transparent and accurate reporting increases reliability, utility, and impact of your research:reporting guidelines and the EQUATOR Network. BMC Med. 2010 Apr 26;8:24. PMID: 20420659

Kac G, Hirst A. Enhanced quality and transparency of health research reporting can lead to improvements in public health policy decision-making: help from the EQUATOR Network. Cad Saude Publica. 2011;27(10):1872. PMID: 22031192


Why document your search?

Why should you document your literature searches in your publications? 

Some laws, journals and associations require it.  Others recommend it. 

It’ll save you time & frustration by

  •  giving you a plan of action
  •  avoiding duplicated effort or worse, gaps in your search
  •  helping to let you know when you’re done
  • ensure that your study is usable by others and not wasted effort


Thanks to Kristine Alpi for her generous permission to use & adapt her course outline "How and Why to Document Searches in the Sciences:  A Hands-On Workshop".

Subject Guide