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Zotero @ the WSU Libraries


comic reading "Many meta-analysis studies include the phrase 'we searched Medline, Embase, and Cochrane for studies...' This has led to meta-meta-analyses comparing meta-analysis methods. e.g. M Sampson (2003), PL Royle (2005) E Lee (2011), AR Lemeshow (2005) We performed a meta-meta-meta-analysis of these meta-meta-analyses. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, and Cochrane for the phrase 'We searched Medline, Embase, and Cochrane for the phrase 'We searched Medline, Embase, and...' text gets cut off.

"In the context of systematic reviews, reference management programs facilitate the capture and organization of studies identified through electronic database searching, the identification and elimination of duplicate records from multiple database searches, the transfer of references to Cochrane RevMan and other systematic reviews software, and the accurate citing of references within manuscripts [8,9]. Thus, an author’s decision to use, or not use, this software may impact on the accurate reporting of the number of studies reviewed for inclusion and exclusion in a systematic review." (Lorenzetti & Ghali, 2013)


Alt text joke to comic: ""Life goal #29 is to get enough of them rejected that I can publish a comparative analysis of the rejection letters."


Using Zotero for Systematic Reviews

Just a reminder: It is *very* important that you keep careful record of your searches to make sure they can be duplicated, and include them in your SR/MA - this includes what database (and vendor platform) you found them on!. But - keep in mind that searches can't always be duplicated because

  1.  Different institutions may have different access to databases, i.e. go back further in Web of Science, or have access to some specific collections in JSTOR and not to others
  2. Databases may add new articles, etc. or (rarely) take some away. They may also fill in missing issues. Here's a great example from JStor on monthly updates.
  3. The same content may search differently on different vendor platforms, i.e. if an article database is available from EBSCO and ProQuest, the same search may give you different results - that's one reason why you need to record what database and platform you found something in. Example: Education Full-Text (ProQuest). Another reason is that your SR/M-A may want to include a table of how may records from each database - its not enough to say, Education Full-Text, or EBSCOhost (in the case of databases available on multiple platforms - you need to specifically indicate both . The database for each record should go in the Zotero record itself (you will often have to manually add it in the Library Catalog field), but you can keep track of the vendor/platforms elsewhere ))  If you do choose to do federated searching (i.e. multiple ProQuest databases at once, or EBSCO databases at once, this is very important! (But I don't recommend federated searching!)

Tools that May Be Useful

Using Other Reference Management Tools for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Replication of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

  1. Some databases (i.e. JSTOR and Web of Science) are broken up into modules - institutions may have different modules, affecting replicability
    1. Note:Since 2020 WSU has had access to *all* JSTOR journal modules. This is now permanent.
  2. Consider dates. Databases generally add new content periodically, so you need to know what day(s) you searched.  How far back do they go (i.e. Web of Science)? If you are searching full-text via a database platform, how far does the libraries' backfiles go as of the date(s) you search?

These are the content modules WSU subscribes to via JSTOR:


  1. Note:Since 2020 WSU has had access to *all* JSTOR journal modules as a pandemic thing. This is now permanent!!!

Disciplinary Meta-Analysis Registration/Database Sites

Examples of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

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