Two new posts (well, new to the site)

A paper highlighting that abbreviated searches typically produce very similar results. The authors conclude:

If decision makers are willing to accept less certainty and a small risk for opposite conclusions, some abbreviated searches are viable options for rapid evidence syntheses. Decisions demanding high certainty require comprehensive searches.

As ever I’m uneasy at the comparison with SRs (see Straw man and the accuracy of rapid reviews) but there you go! This is a growing area of research and related articles can be see via Restricting the databases (or language) for a search.



This study found that almost all rapid reviews had been used by the agencies who commissioned them, primarily in policy and programme development, agenda-setting, and to communicate information to stakeholders. Reviews were used mostly in instrumental and conceptual ways and there was little evidence of symbolic use. Variations in use were identified across agencies. The findings suggest that commissioned rapid reviews are an effective means of providing timely relevant research for use in policy processes and that review findings may be applied in a variety of ways.

A really interesting discussion, I particularly enjoyed the co-production discussion.

I highlight concerns about comparisons with SRs (for accuracy) I do think a comparison with SRs would be interesting here. As the RRs are timely they get used (alongside other features like co-production); if the response had been a SR one suspects usage would be much lower. Context is vital in evidence synthesis




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