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Expert Searching for Systematic Reviews Interest Group

This Houston-based interest group meets regularly to share best practices for expert searching, discuss current literature, and identify competencies and standards for supporting systematic reviews.

Location & Time

The Houston Expert Searching for Systematic Reviews Interest Group (HESSRIG) meets on selected

Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00

in the Research Medical Library Conference Room.  

Directions and Maps


Discussion topics and readings

September 26, 2017: Precision & Speed

Can we be more precise in our search results in order to expedite the entire systematic review process?

Tsertsvadze, A., Chen, Y.-F., Moher, D., Sutcliffe, P., & McCarthy, N. (2015). How to conduct systematic reviews more expeditiously? Systematic reviews, 4(1), 160.


October 31, 2017: Optimizing Filters

How do we optimize our search filters in order to improve our efficiency?

Waffenschmidt, S., Hermanns, T., Gerber-Grote, A., & Mostardt, S. (2017). No suitable precise or optimized epidemiologic search filters were available for bibliographic databases. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 82, 112-118.

Beale, S., Duffy, S., Glanville, J., Lefebvre, C., Wright, D., McCool, R., et al. (2014). Choosing and using methodological search filters: searchers' views. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 31(2), 133-147.


November, 28, 2017: Qualitative Quandary

How do we create search strategies for systematic reviews that include qualitative research?

Booth, A. (2016). Searching for qualitative research for inclusion in systematic reviews: a structured methodological review. Systematic reviews, 5(1), 74.

Finfgeld‐Connett, D., & Johnson, E. D. (2013). Literature search strategies for conducting knowledge‐building and theory‐generating qualitative systematic reviews. Journal of advanced nursing, 69(1), 194-204.


January 30, 2018: SPIDER VS. PICO

How do we use alternate question frameworks effectively in our systematic review consultations and searches?

Methley AM, Campbell S, Chew-Graham C, McNally R, Cheraghi-Sohi S. PICO, PICOS and SPIDER: a comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews. BMC Health Serv Res. 2014;14(1):579.

Cooke A, Smith D, Booth A. Beyond PICO: the SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis. Qual Health Res. 2012;22(10):1435-43.


February 27, 2018: Forest Plots & Funnel Plots

How do we interpret pooled results and publication bias in systematic reviews and meta analyses?

  1. Bastian, H. (2017, July 3). 5 Tips for Understanding Data in Meta-Analyses.  Retrieved from
  2. How to Read a Forest Plot? (Aug. 7, 2017).  Retrieved from
  3. Lewis, S., & Clarke, M. (2001). Forest plots: trying to see the wood and the trees. BMJ : British Medical Journal, 322(7300), 1479-1480.
  4. Sterne, J. A. C., Sutton, A. J., Ioannidis, J. P. A., Terrin, N., Jones, D. R., Lau, J., et al. (2011). Recommendations for examining and interpreting funnel plot asymmetry in meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials. BMJ, 343. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4002


April 24, 2018: Reporting Methods

How does the quality of methods reporting impact systematic reviews?

Dechartres, A., Trinquart, L., Atal, I., Moher, D., Dickersin, K., Boutron, I., et al. (2017). Evolution of poor reporting and inadequate methods over time in 20 920 randomised controlled trials included in Cochrane reviews: research on research study. BMJ, 357, j2490.

Rivoirard, R., Bourmaud, A., Oriol, M., Tinquaut, F., Méry, B., Langrand-Escure, J., et al. (2017). Quality of reporting in oncology studies: A systematic analysis of literature reviews and prospects. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, 112, 179-189.