List of articles

Below is a list of articles related to increasing value in evidence synthesis.  It may be about increasing the speed of reviewing, critiques of current methods or comparisons of methods.

It does not include articles that report on computer supported techniques such as text-mining, computer learning etc.  There is a separate list available, on this site: List of articles (automation, text-mining etc.).


  1. The use and impact of rapid health technology assessments. Hailey D et al. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care / Volume 16 / Issue 02 / April 2000, pp 651-656


  1. Rapid reviews for evidence-based decision support. (Restricting) requirements. Ziegler S et al. Z Arztl Fortbild Qualitatssich. 2001 Feb;95(2):105-11.


  1. Literature searching for randomized controlled trials used in Cochrane reviews: rapid versus exhaustive searches. Royle P and Milne R. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2003 Fall;19(4):591-603.
  2. How important are comprehensive literature searches and the assessment of trial quality in systematic reviews? Egger M et al. Health Technol Assess. 2003;7(1):1-76.
  3. Health economic short HTA reports – systematic review of methods and implementation. Aidelsburger P et al. German Agency for Health Technology Assessment at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DAHTA@ DIMDI). Volume 6. 2003


  1. Differences between systematic reviews and health technology assessments: a trade-off between the ideals of scientific rigor and the realities of policy making Rotstein D et al. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2004 Spring;20(2):177-83.
  2. An information extraction and representation system for rapid review of the biomedical literature. Revere D et al. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2004;107(Pt 2):788-92. (also available as a Medinfo book chapter)


  1. A simplified search strategy for identifying randomised controlled trials for systematic reviews of health care interventions: a comparison with more exhaustive strategies. Royle P et al. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2005 Jul 23;5:23


  1. Rapid reviews versus full systematic reviews: an inventory of current methods and practice in health technology assessment ASERNIP-S, July 2007
  2. Health technology appraisal of interventional procedures: comparison of rapid and slow methods Warren V. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2007 Jul;12(3):142-6.
  3. Estimating the Horizon of Articles to Decide When to Stop Searching in Systematic Reviews: An Example Using a Systematic Review of RCTs Evaluating Osteoporosis Clinical Decision Support Tools. Kastner M et al. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2007; 2007: 389–393.


  1. Selective Publication of Antidepressant Trials and Its Influence on Apparent Efficacy Turner EH et al. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jan 17;358(3):252-60.
  2. Systematic reviews can be produced and published faster. Sampson M et al. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. June 2008. Volume 61, Issue 6, Pages 531–536
  3. Rapid versus full systematic reviews: validity in clinical practice? Watt A et al. ANZ J Surg. 2008 Nov;78(11):1037-40
  4. Rapid reviews versus full systematic reviews: an inventory of current methods and practice in health technology assessment. Watt A et al. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2008 Spring;24(2):133-9.


  1. English-Language Restriction When Conducting Systematic Review-based Meta-analyses: Systematic Review of Published Studies. CADTH. 2009
  2. The capture–mark–recapture technique can be used as a stopping rule when searching in systematic reviews. Kastner M et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2009 Feb;62(2):149-57.
  3. A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Grant MJ et al. Health Info Libr J. 2009 Jun;26(2):91-108
  4. A preliminary survey on the influence of rapid health technology assessments. Hailey D. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care / Volume 25 / Issue 03 / July 2009


  1. Can we rely on the best trial? A comparison of individual trials and systematic reviews Glasziou PP et al. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2010 Mar 18;10:23
  2. Expediting systematic reviews: methods and implications of rapid reviews Ganann R et al. Implementation Science 2010, 5:56
  3. Issues in conducting and disseminating brief reviews of evidence. Abrami PC et al. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, Volume 6, Number 3, August 2010, pp. 371-389(19)
  4. How much searching is enough? Comprehensive versus optimal retrieval for technology assessments. Booth A. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2010 Oct;26(4):431-5


  1. Meta-analyses of small numbers of trials often agree with longer-term results. Herbison P et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2011 Feb;64(2):145-53.
  2. Searches for evidence mapping: effective, shorter, cheaper. Parkhill AF et al. J Med Libr Assoc. 2011 Apr; 99(2): 157–160.
  3. Cost-effective ways of delivering enquiry services: a rapid review. Sutton A et al. Health Information & Libraries Journal. Volume 28, Issue 4,  pages 249–255, December 2011


  1. McMaster Premium LiteratUre Service (PLUS) performed well for identifying new studies for updated Cochrane reviews Hemens BJ, Haynes RB. J Clin Epidemiol. 2012 Jan;65(1):62-72.e1
  2. Effect of reporting bias on meta-analyses of drug trials: reanalysis of meta-analyses Hart B et al. BMJ. 2012 Jan 3;344:d7202.
  3. Evidence summaries: the evolution of a rapid review approach Khangura S et al. Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 10;1:10
  4. Rapid versus systematic reviews Liberating the Literature Blog, April 2012
  5. Rapid versus systematic reviews – part 2 Liberating the Literature Blog, April 2012
  6. The effect of English-language restriction on systematic review-based meta-analyses: a systematic review of empirical studies. Morrison A et al. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2012 Apr;28(2):138-44
  7. Knowledge integration in public health: A rapid review using systems thinking. Riley B et al. Evidence and Policy 2012; 8(4); 417-31
  8. What is a rapid review? A methodological exploration of rapid reviews in Health Technology Assessments. Harker J et al. Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2012;10:397–410.


  1. The automation of systematic reviews Tsafnat G et al. BMJ 2013;346:f139
  2. Rapid evidence assessments of research to inform social policy: taking stock and moving forward. Thomas J et al. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, Volume 9, Number 1, January 2013, pp. 5-27(23)
  3. A critique of the Cochrane Collaboration Liberating the Literature Blog, April 2013
  4. Searching for unpublished data for Cochrane reviews: cross sectional study Schroll JB et al. BMJ. 2013 Apr 23;346:f2231
  5. A pragmatic strategy for the review of clinical evidence Sagliocca L et al. J Eval Clin Pract. 2013 Aug;19(4):689-96.
  6. Using Rapid Reviews to Influence Guidance Development in the Emergency Department Setting. Ramachandran J et al. Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) Conference August 20, 2013
  7. Methodological developments in searching for studies for systematic reviews: past, present and future? Lefebvre C et al. Syst Rev. 2013 Sep 25;2:78.
  8. A time-responsive tool for informing policy making: rapid realist review. Saul JE et al. Implementation Science 2013, 8:103
  9. Trip Rapid Reviews – systematic reviews in five minutes Liberating the Literature Blog, October 2013
  10. Completeness of Reporting of Patient-Relevant Clinical Trial Outcomes: Comparison of Unpublished Clinical Study Reports with Publicly Available Data. Wieseler B et al. PLoS Med 10(10): e1001526.
  11. Learning from research: systematic reviews for informing polic decisions: a quick guide. Gough D et al. EPPI-Centre. December 2013 (nice overview on rapid reviews on page 25)


  1. Rapid review: an emerging approach to evidence synthesis in health technology assessment Khangura S et al. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2014 Jan;30(1):20-7.
  2. Some additional thoughts on systematic reviews Liberating the Literature Blog, February 2014
  3. Living Systematic Reviews: An Emerging Opportunity to Narrow the Evidence-Practice Gap. Elliot JH et al. 2014. PLoS Med 11(2): e1001603.
  4. Pinpointing needles in giant haystacks: use of text mining to reduce impractical screening workload in extremely large scoping reviews Shemilt I et al. Res Synth Methods. 2014 Mar;5(1):31-49.
  5. Developing a ‘rapid-response’ program for health system decision-makers in Canada. Wilson MG et al. McMaster Health Forum, 7 March 2014
  6. Value of databases other than medline for rapid health technology assessments. Lorenzetti DL et al. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2014 Apr;30(2):173-8.
  7. Systematic review automation technologies Tsafnat G et al. Syst Rev. 2014 Jul 9;3:74.
  8. Citation networks of related trials are often disconnected: implications for bidirectional citation searches Robinson KA et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2014 Jul;67(7):793-9.
  9. Meta-epidemiologic analysis indicates that MEDLINE searches are sufficient for diagnostic test accuracy systematic reviews. van Enst WA et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2014 Nov;67(11):1192-9.
  10. How Often Does an Individual Trial Agree with Its Corresponding Meta-Analysis? A Meta-Epidemiologic Study. Tam WWS et al. PLoS ONE 9(12): e113994.


  1. Methods of a multi-faceted rapid knowledge synthesis project to inform the implementation of a new health service model: Collaborative Emergency Centres. Hayden JA et al Syst Rev. 2015; 4(1): 7.
  2. EPC Methods: An Exploration of Methods and Context for the Production of Rapid Reviews. Hartling L et al. Research White Paper. AHRQ Publication No. 15-EHC008-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; February 2015.
  3. Reviews: Rapid! Rapid! Rapid! …and systematic. Schünemann HJ et al. Systematic Reviews 2015, 4:4
  4. Developing a rapid-response program for health system decision-makers in Canada: findings from an issue brief and stakeholder dialogue. Syst Rev. 2015 Mar 11;4:25. Wilson MG et al.
  5. Rapid review programs to support health care and policy decision making: a descriptive analysis of processes and methods Polisena J et al. Syst Rev. 2015 Mar 14;4:26.
  6. Advancing knowledge of rapid reviews: an analysis of results, conclusions and recommendations from published review articles examining rapid reviews Featherstone RM et al. Syst Rev. 2015 Apr 17;4:50.
  7. Rapid Reviews: Sisyphos’ Salvation? – An Inventory. Mattivi JT et al. Gesundheitswesen. 2015 May 18.
  8. The Development and Use of Evidence Summaries for Point of Care Information Systems: A Streamlined Rapid Review Approach. Munn Z et al. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2015 Jun;12(3):131-8.
  9. Improving search efficiency for systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy: an exploratory study to assess the viability of limiting to MEDLINE, EMBASE and reference checking. Preston L et al. Syst Rev. 2015 Jun 26;4:82
  10. Rapid evidence assessment: increasing the transparency of an emerging methodology. Varker T el al. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. June 2015
  11. A taxonomy of rapid reviews links report types and methods to specific decision-making contexts Hartling L et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Aug 14.
  12. An international survey and modified Delphi approach revealed numerous rapid review methods. Tricco AS et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Aug 29.
  13. Rapid Review Summit: an overview and initiation of a research agenda Polisena J et al. Syst Rev. 2015 Sep 26;4:11
  14. A scoping review of rapid review methods. Tricco AC et al. BMC Med. 2015 Sep 16;13:224.
  15. Deconstructing Rapid Reviews: An Exploration of Knowledge, Traits and Attitudes. Kelly SE. MSc Thesis. 2015
  16. Rapid reviews: Do they really save time and resources? Buchberger B. 2015 International Health Economics Association Congress abstract submission.
  17. Using data sources beyond PubMed has a modest impact on the results of systematic reviews of therapeutic interventions. Halladay CW et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Sep;68(9):1076-84
  18. Rapid reviews in health policy: a study of intended use in the New South Wales’ Evidence Check programme Moore GM et al.  Evidence & Policy  October 12, 2015
  19. Evidence synthesis activities of a hospital evidence-based practice center and impact on hospital decision making. Jayakumar KL et al. J Hosp Med. 2015 Oct 27.
  20. How to conduct systematic reviews more expeditiously? Tsertsvadze A et al. Systematic Reviews 2015, 4:160
  21. Human and machine effort in Project Transform: how intersecting technologies will help us to identify studies reliably, efficiently and at scale. Thomas J et al. Cochrane Methods. Page 37-41 Cochrane DB Syst Rev 2015 Suppl1:1–72
  22. Rapid Evidence Assessment of the Literature (REAL((c))): streamlining the systematic review process and creating utility for evidence-based health care. Crawford C et al. BMC Res.Notes 2015 Nov 2;8:631-015-1604-z
  23. Pruning and prioritising: a case study of a pragmatic method for managing a rapid systematic review with limited resources. Harnan SE et al. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, Volume 11, Number 4, November 2015, pp. 589-601(13)
  24. Exploration and practice of methods and processes of evidence-based rapid review on peer review of WHO EML application. Li Y et al. J Evid Based Med. 2015 Nov 6.
  25. All in the Family: systematic reviews, rapid reviews, scoping reviews, realist reviews, and more. Moher D et al. Systematic Reviews 2015 4:183


  1. An international survey and modified Delphi approach revealed numerous rapid review methods. Tricco AC et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2016 Feb;70:61-7
  2. A scoping review on the conduct and reporting of scoping reviews. Tricco AC et al. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2016
  3. Systematic reviews are not enough: policymakers need a greater variety of synthesized evidence. Manson H. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. Available online 18 February 2016
  4. EPC Methods: AHRQ End-User Perspectives of Rapid Reviews. 2016
  5. Using GRADE to respond to health questions with different levels of urgency. Thayer KA, Schünemann HJ. Environ Int. 2016 Apr 25. pii: S0160-4120(16)30107-6
  6. Quality of conduct and reporting in rapid reviews: an exploration of compliance with PRISMA and AMSTAR guidelines. Kelly SE et al. Systematic Reviews 2016 5:79
  7. Practical applications of rapid review methods in the development of Australian health policy. Lambert R et al. Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association. Accepted 05 June 2016
  8. User survey finds rapid evidence reviews increased uptake of evidence by Veterans Health Administration leadership to inform fast-paced health-system decision-making. Peterson K et al. Systematic Reviews 2016 5:132
  9. Implications of applying methodological shortcuts to expedite systematic reviews: three case studies using systematic reviews from agri-food public health. Pham MT et al. Res Synth Methods. 2016 Jun 10.
  10. The use of rapid review methods in health technology assessments: 3 case studies. Kaltenthaler E et al. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:108
  11. The contribution of databases to the results of systematic reviews: a cross-sectional study. Hartling L et al. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2016 16:127
  12. Expediting evidence synthesis for healthcare decision-making: exploring attitudes and perceptions towards rapid reviews using Q methodology. Kelly SE et al. PeerJ 4:e2522
  13. Using the AMSTAR checklist for rapid reviews: is it feasible? Mattivi JT, Buchberger B. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2016 Oct 18:1-8.
  14. Defining rapid reviews: a modified delphi consensus approach. Kelly SE, Moher D, Clifford TJ. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2016 Oct 11:1-11.
  15. Designing a rapid response program to support evidence-informed decision-making in the Americas region: using the best available evidence and case studies. Haby MM et al. Implementation Science 2016 11:117
  16. Rapid Evidence Maps as Decision Tools for Evidence-based Policy. Engelbert M. (2016). Capstone Collection. Paper 2942
  17. Assessing the validity of abbreviated literature searches for rapid reviews: protocol of a non-inferiority and meta-epidemiologic study. Nussbaumer-Streit B et al. Systematic Reviews 2016 5:197
  18. Using rapid reviews: an example from a study conducted to inform policy-making. O’Leary DF et al. Research Methodology December 2016
  19. Methods for Developing Evidence Reviews in Short Periods of Time: A Scoping Review. Abou-Setta AM et al. PLoS ONE 11(12) 2016
  20. RAPADAPTE for rapid guideline development: high-quality clinical guidelines can be rapidly developed with limited resources. Alper BS et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2016


  1. Rapid reviews with health-technology assessments in reimbursement systems – an examination of Ireland as a case study. Murphy A et al. Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment | Vol. 4 | Issue 1 – 2017
  2. The Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) in Chile: lessons learned from a year of coordinated efforts. Mansilla C et al. Rev Panam Salud Publica 41, 2017
  3. Grey literature in systematic reviews: a cross-sectional study of the contribution of non-English reports, unpublished studies and dissertations to the results of meta-analyses in child-relevant reviews. Hartling L et al. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:64
  4. Does knowledge brokering improve the quality of rapid review proposals? A before and after study. Moore G et al. Systematic Reviews 2017 6:23
  5. Developing WHO rapid advice guidelines in the setting of a public health emergency. Garritty CM et al. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology February 2017 Volume 82, Pages 47–60
  6. Comparison of a full systematic review versus a rapid review approaches to assess a newborn screening test for tyrosinemia type 1. Taylor-Phillips S et al. Res Synth Methods. 2017 Jul 13.
  7. Trading certainty for speed – how much uncertainty are decisionmakers and guideline developers willing to accept when using rapid reviews. Wagner G et al. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 17:121

No date

  1. Rapid Evidence Assessment Toolkit index Civil Service (or try this link)- now archived.
  2. Tamiflu via the BMJ

Thanks to the following people who’ve contributed to this list:

  • Julie Polisena (CADTH)

Submit any additional papers for considering via


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