information retrieval

information retrieval



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SuRe Info is a web resource that provides research-based information relating to information retrieval aspects available to anyone. Learn more

IRG Annual Business Meeting Minutes

IRG 2023 Business Meeting Minutes

IRG 2022 Business Meeting Minutes

IRG 2021 Business Meeting Minutes

IRG 2019 Business Meeting Minutes

IRG 2018 Business Meeting Minutes

SuRe Info is a web resource that provides research-based information relating to the information retrieval aspects of producing systematic reviews and HTAs. SuRe Info seeks to help information specialists stay up-to-date in the latest developments by providing easy access to current methods papers, and support more research-based information retrieval practice. Learn more


IRG Webinar

Finding search filters for study designs: using the ISSG Search Filter Resource

  • Panelists: Julie Glanville
  • Search filters are sets of Search terms designed to find studies of a specific design they are an essential tool in searching for the evidence and they come in different shapes and sizes. They may be sensitive or broad and these types of filters are particularly useful when identifying studies for evidence synthesis such as systematic reviews.
  • Date: June 1, 2023

IRG Webinar

Available on-demand:
Evidence-Based Searching for Health Technology Assessment: Keeping up to Date With SuRe Info

  • Panelists: Jaana Isojarvi and Julie Glanvile
  • Evidence syntheses of all types have their foundation in literature searches. Literature searching is developing in line with the growing use of evidence synthesis and is also informed by the spirit of being evidence-based. Increasing numbers of research papers about information retrieval are being published, and keeping up to date with the latest developments in this ever more wide-ranging field is demanding.
  • Date: February 23, 2022


IRG Pre-Conference Workshop for the HTAi 2023 Annual Meeting in Adelaide, Australia.

“Advanced Workshop in Information Retrieval: New Challenges and Updated Approaches in Efficient HTA Literature Searching”

Workshop date: June 25, 2023

This full day workshop highlighted engaging speakers and expert searchers exploring efficient search practices and opportunities to harmonize and align our efforts in Health Technology Assessment. A special focus this year was highlighting the perspective of librarians, information specialists and researchers in the Australian HTA community.

Presentations and speakers:

  • Population Filters (Catherine Voutier, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia)
  • Improving Query Formulation for Systematic Review Literature Searches (Guido Zuccon, University of Queensland, Australia)
  • IQWiG’s experience with identifying registries for patients with rare diseases (Siw Waffenschmidt, IQWIG, Germany)
  • Information Retrieval in the context of Real-World Evidence (RWE): Experiences at CADTH (Amanda Hodgson, CADTH, Canada)
  • The Highway to Evidence: Re-using and Sharing Existing Evidence (Justin Clark, Bond University, Australia)

IRG Pre-Conference Workshop for the HTAi 2022 Annual Meeting in Utrecht, Netherlands.

“Advanced Workshop In Information Retrieval: Addressing Lifecycles Of The Literature In Health Technology Assessment”

Workshop date: June 25, 2022

The HTAi Information Retrieval Group (IRG) holds its advanced skills workshop each year at the HTAi Annual Meeting. This year we will focus on addressing the challenges of navigating the lifecycle of the literature supporting the work of Health Technology Assessment. This annual workshop allows participants the opportunity to learn new advances in information retrieval and share their innovative experiences and practices with other expert searchers. 

Structure of Session 

This full day workshop included sessions that connected to many of the following themes which impact searching for evidence across the lifecycle of HTA. Topics included: 

  • Searching for evidence beyond RCTs
    • Real World Evidence 
    • Post-marketing surveillance
  • Issues with different publication formats
    • Pre-prints
    • Predatory journals
  • Working with existing systematic reviews
    • Living systematic reviews
    • Condition-level reviews
    • Evidence maps 

The workshop included interactive activities, e.g. hands-on exercise, group and plenary discussions. Previous workshops in information retrieval have generated vibrant discussion and lots of engagement among the participants. 

Outcomes and Objectives 

Objectives of the workshop are to advance the skills of those conducting literature searches as the foundational piece of HTA work.   

Target audience: Information specialists and others interested in information retrieval tools and methods. 


  • Christa Niehot, Netherlands
  • Mbachi Ruth Msomphora, Norway
  • Per-Olov Andersson, Sweden
  • James Thomas, UK
  • Siw Waffenschmidt, Germany
  • Amanda Hodgson, Canada
  • Monika Mierzwinski-Urban, Canada
  • David Kaunelis, Canada
  • Stacy Brody, USA
  • Nicole Askin, Canada
  • Mark Mueller, Canada
  • Ingrid Harboe, Norway

IRG Pre-Conference Workshop for the HTAi 2019 Annual Meeting in Cologne, Germany.

Advancing Information Retrieval for the new decade: automation tools, CSRs, search efficiencies and DTA studies


The HTAi Information Retrieval Group (IRG) holds its advanced skills workshop each year at the HTAi Annual Meeting. This year we want to explore four topics that HTA information specialists will be encountering in the next decade.

Structure of the session and Panel/Workshop outcome and objectives:

  • Automation technologies and tools to improve searching and study identification will introduce a range of automation tools for searching and screening of citations, mapping and describing research studies, conducting evidence surveillance and achieving living systematic reviews. It will also facilitate a discussion on the role of the information specialists and the broad implications of utilising these technologies within evidence synthesis workflows..
  • Clinical study reports (CSR) provide complete information on clinical studies. This session will be given by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) and will explore the reasons for using CSR’s, the basic structure and content of a CSR and an overview of which sources can be searched to identify CSRs.
  • Decisions on whether to search both Medline (via OvidSP) and PubMed in HTA literature searching is routinely discussed by information specialists internationally on listservs and no definitive general consensus has been reached. The CADTH Research Information Services team will present their exploratory research project on this topic, discuss preferences for searching among attendees, and will delve into reasoning behind why we might search both databases.
  • Searching for diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies introduces information specialists to the specific challenges of developing search strategies for evidence synthesis and systematic reviews of DTA studies. These challenges include poorly-developed and inconsistent terminology,  concepts and indexing. Lessons learned from research in this area can also help to address similar challenges encountered for other topics.


  • Siw Waffenschmidt, Chair IRG, Head of Information Management Unit, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), Germany
  • Ingrid Harboe, Co-Chair IRG, Research librarian, Division for Health Services, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPHNO)., Norway


  • Justin Clark, Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice (CREBP), Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia
  • Julie Glanville, York Health Economics Consortium, York, UK
  • Elke Hausner, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Germany
  • Amanda Hodgson, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Canada
  • Michael Köhler, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Germany
  • Maria-Inti Metzendorf, Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group Institute of General Practice, Medical Faculty of the Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Claire Stansfield, EPPI-Centre, University College London, UK
  • Rene Spijker, Cochrane Netherlands
  • James Thomas, EPPI-Centre, University College London, UK

Declaration of funding:

The presenter(s) received no specific funding for this work.


Chair: Ingrid Harboe, Norway
Vice-Chair: Amanda Hodgson, Canada
Technical Officer: Nebyu Mengestie, Ethiopia

IRG Steering Committee Members:

  • Catherine Voutier, Australia, Former Chair (2011-2013)
  • David Kaunelis, Canada, Steering Committee (2017-2021), Former Chair (2013-2015)
  • Diane Lorenzetti, Canada Steering Committee 2021-2023
  • Lisa Tjosvold, Canada, Steering Committee (2017-2021)
  • Siw Waffenschmidt, Germany, Former Chair (2017-2021)

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