I came across two papers that have been submitted to a conference – but I’ve no idea which conference! The first author is the same – Katy Cooper:
The first is Selecting Rapid Review Methods For Health Technology Assessment which concludes:
“Rapid review methods need to be chosen to fit the needs of the review, each of which may have different challenges. Collaboration between those producing rapid reviews and commissioners is crucial when choosing methods to ensure that the needs of commissioners are met and limitations associated with the chosen methods are understood.”
The second is the more interesting of the two (for me) as it covers that perennial issue of number of databases! In the submission The Impact Of Searching Fewer Databases In Health Technology Assessment Rapid Reviews the authors conclude:
“From the three reviews examined, limiting the search to fewer databases had no or minimal impact on the review conclusions despite the variable number of studies that would be missed and records needed to sift. More exploration during the scoping search prior to commencing the review will aid the decision on whether to limit the search to fewer databases.”
I like it as it backs up my position (?confirmation bias) that searching lots of databases could well be construed as an unethical pursuit. Resources are limited and therefore extending costs to cover extra databases needs to be clearly justified otherwise it’s wasteful; which is the unethical bit!
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Or conversely, the existence of the smaller databases is an unethical waste. How could we deal with that? Perhaps we should coin a new phrase – predatory databases!
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