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:

  1. 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..
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.