Limits...
Should we search Chinese biomedical databases when performing systematic reviews?

Cohen JF, Korevaar DA, Wang J, Spijker R, Bossuyt PM - Syst Rev (2015)

Bottom Line: In one of these, the authors did not search Chinese databases; in the other, they did.These Chinese databases index about 2,500 journals, of which less than 6% are also indexed in MEDLINE.We encourage future initiatives to evaluate more systematically the relevance of searching Chinese databases, as well as collaborative efforts to allow better incorporation of Chinese resources in systematic reviews.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center - University of Amsterdam, Room J1B-210, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. j.f.cohen@amc.uva.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Chinese biomedical databases contain a large number of publications available to systematic reviewers, but it is unclear whether they are used for synthesizing the available evidence.

Methods: We report a case of two systematic reviews on the accuracy of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. In one of these, the authors did not search Chinese databases; in the other, they did. We additionally assessed the extent to which Cochrane reviewers have searched Chinese databases in a systematic overview of the Cochrane Library (inception to 2014).

Results: The two diagnostic reviews included a total of 269 unique studies, but only 4 studies were included in both reviews. The first review included five studies published in the Chinese language (out of 151) while the second included 114 (out of 118). The summary accuracy estimates from the two reviews were comparable. Only 243 of the published 8,680 Cochrane reviews (less than 3%) searched one or more of the five major Chinese databases. These Chinese databases index about 2,500 journals, of which less than 6% are also indexed in MEDLINE. All 243 Cochrane reviews evaluated an intervention, 179 (74%) had at least one author with a Chinese affiliation; 118 (49%) addressed a topic in complementary or alternative medicine.

Discussion and conclusions: Although searching Chinese databases may lead to the identification of a large amount of additional clinical evidence, Cochrane reviewers have rarely included them in their search strategy. We encourage future initiatives to evaluate more systematically the relevance of searching Chinese databases, as well as collaborative efforts to allow better incorporation of Chinese resources in systematic reviews.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of studies included by each review and corresponding overlap.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4374381&req=5

Fig1: Number of studies included by each review and corresponding overlap.

Mentions: The most striking finding when comparing the two reviews is the large number of studies published in the Chinese language identified by Gao et al. but not by Whiting et al. Gao and colleagues searched two biomedical databases (MEDLINE and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), 2000 to 2010) and included 118 studies, of which 114 had been published in the Chinese language. Although Whiting and her colleagues thoroughly searched 10 databases (inception to 2009) without language restrictions and were able to include 151 studies (155 publications), only 5 of these were reported in the Chinese language. In total, the two reviews identified 269 unique studies. Surprisingly, only four primary studies can be found in both reviews (FigureĀ 1). This discrepancy can be explained by the fact that Gao et al. also searched CNKI, one of the largest Chinese biomedical databases, while Whiting et al. did not.Figure 1


Should we search Chinese biomedical databases when performing systematic reviews?

Cohen JF, Korevaar DA, Wang J, Spijker R, Bossuyt PM - Syst Rev (2015)

Number of studies included by each review and corresponding overlap.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4374381&req=5

Fig1: Number of studies included by each review and corresponding overlap.
Mentions: The most striking finding when comparing the two reviews is the large number of studies published in the Chinese language identified by Gao et al. but not by Whiting et al. Gao and colleagues searched two biomedical databases (MEDLINE and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), 2000 to 2010) and included 118 studies, of which 114 had been published in the Chinese language. Although Whiting and her colleagues thoroughly searched 10 databases (inception to 2009) without language restrictions and were able to include 151 studies (155 publications), only 5 of these were reported in the Chinese language. In total, the two reviews identified 269 unique studies. Surprisingly, only four primary studies can be found in both reviews (FigureĀ 1). This discrepancy can be explained by the fact that Gao et al. also searched CNKI, one of the largest Chinese biomedical databases, while Whiting et al. did not.Figure 1

Bottom Line: In one of these, the authors did not search Chinese databases; in the other, they did.These Chinese databases index about 2,500 journals, of which less than 6% are also indexed in MEDLINE.We encourage future initiatives to evaluate more systematically the relevance of searching Chinese databases, as well as collaborative efforts to allow better incorporation of Chinese resources in systematic reviews.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center - University of Amsterdam, Room J1B-210, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. j.f.cohen@amc.uva.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Chinese biomedical databases contain a large number of publications available to systematic reviewers, but it is unclear whether they are used for synthesizing the available evidence.

Methods: We report a case of two systematic reviews on the accuracy of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. In one of these, the authors did not search Chinese databases; in the other, they did. We additionally assessed the extent to which Cochrane reviewers have searched Chinese databases in a systematic overview of the Cochrane Library (inception to 2014).

Results: The two diagnostic reviews included a total of 269 unique studies, but only 4 studies were included in both reviews. The first review included five studies published in the Chinese language (out of 151) while the second included 114 (out of 118). The summary accuracy estimates from the two reviews were comparable. Only 243 of the published 8,680 Cochrane reviews (less than 3%) searched one or more of the five major Chinese databases. These Chinese databases index about 2,500 journals, of which less than 6% are also indexed in MEDLINE. All 243 Cochrane reviews evaluated an intervention, 179 (74%) had at least one author with a Chinese affiliation; 118 (49%) addressed a topic in complementary or alternative medicine.

Discussion and conclusions: Although searching Chinese databases may lead to the identification of a large amount of additional clinical evidence, Cochrane reviewers have rarely included them in their search strategy. We encourage future initiatives to evaluate more systematically the relevance of searching Chinese databases, as well as collaborative efforts to allow better incorporation of Chinese resources in systematic reviews.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus