Appraisal of: Glanville J, Foxlee R, Wisniewski S, Noel-Storr A, Edwards M, Dooley G. Translating the Cochrane EMBASE RCT filter from the Ovid interface to Embase.com: a case study. Health Info Libr J. 2019 Sep;36(3):264-77.
Glanville J, Foxlee R, Wisniewski S, Noel-Storr A, Edwards M, Dooley G. Translating the Cochrane EMBASE RCT filter from the Ovid interface to Embase.com: a case study. Health Info Libr J. 2019 Sep;36(3):264-77.
Although this study focused on translation of a single search filter, it provides insights into differences between the two Embase interfaces that are relevant for any expert searcher. These include issues with database content (such as records being available in the database in one interface, but not in the other) as well as differences in search syntax. Results from each line of the Ovid Embase RCT filter were compared to records retrieved when the filter was translated to Embase.com (taking into account known differences in the interfaces’ search syntax).
Key issues highlighted include:
Search terms in Ovid should be truncated to account for occasions when punctuation characters such as periods (full stops) are not followed by a space (this issue was confirmed by Ovid in May 2019)
Text word searches in Embase.com should search not only the title and abstract fields, but also the original title field (TT)
Publication date limits should be a range of years around the desired year, as single year limits may yield different numbers of results in different interfaces.
Limitations stated by the author(s):
Due to budget limitations and the time-consuming nature of the work, this study used a single set of search results from a sample of studies published in a single year. A larger sample with more years would have provided a more robust search, and the dynamic nature of the databases means that conclusions might change over time. Resources were not available to test the revised filter on another set of results.
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s):
As acknowledged by the authors, databases have a “dynamic nature”, and the findings of this study were also discussed with the database publishers (Ovid and Elsevier). Therefore, changes may have been made by the publishers since this paper was published that resolve the issues identified and/or change the results of this study.
Service providers and search interfaces
Supplemental publications to the study:
Glanville J, Foxlee R, Wisniewski S, Noel-Storr A, Edwards M, Dooley G. Corrigendum: Translating the Cochrane EMBASE RCT filter from the Ovid interface to Embase.com: A case study (vol 36, pg 264, 2019). Health Info Libr J. 2020 Dec;37(4):351.
Glanville J, Foxlee R, Wisniewski S, Noel-Storr A, Edwards M, Dooley G. Challenges Of Translating Search Filters Between Different Interfaces. OP24. HTAi Annual Meeting; Cologne 2019:33. Available from: https://htai.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/htai_AM19_abstracts_20190812.pdf
Glanville J. Translating filters between different interfaces: not as easy as you might think. Cochrane Colloquium Abstracts; Edinburgh 2018. Available from: https://abstracts.cochrane.org/translating-filters-between-different-interfaces-not-easy-you-might-think.