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Design and implementation of Metta, a metasearch engine for biomedical literature retrieval intended for systematic reviewers.

Smalheiser NR, Lin C, Jia L, Jiang Y, Cohen AM, Yu C, Davis JM, Adams CE, McDonagh MS, Meng W - Health Inf Sci Syst (2014)

Bottom Line: This creates special requirements and challenges for metasearch engine design and implementation.De-duplication of records returned from multiple databases was carried out in a prioritized fashion that favored retaining citations returned from PubMed.As such, Metta may find wide utility for anyone who is carrying out a comprehensive search of the biomedical literature.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612 USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Individuals and groups who write systematic reviews and meta-analyses in evidence-based medicine regularly carry out literature searches across multiple search engines linked to different bibliographic databases, and thus have an urgent need for a suitable metasearch engine to save time spent on repeated searches and to remove duplicate publications from initial consideration. Unlike general users who generally carry out searches to find a few highly relevant (or highly recent) articles, systematic reviewers seek to obtain a comprehensive set of articles on a given topic, satisfying specific criteria. This creates special requirements and challenges for metasearch engine design and implementation.

Methods: We created a federated search tool that is connected to five databases: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Retrieved bibliographic records were shown online; optionally, results could be de-duplicated and exported in both BibTex and XML format.

Results: The query interface was extensively modified in response to feedback from users within our team. Besides a general search track and one focused on human-related articles, we also added search tracks optimized to identify case reports and systematic reviews. Although users could modify preset search options, they were rarely if ever altered in practice. Up to several thousand retrieved records could be exported within a few minutes. De-duplication of records returned from multiple databases was carried out in a prioritized fashion that favored retaining citations returned from PubMed.

Conclusions: Systematic reviewers are used to formulating complex queries using strategies and search tags that are specific for individual databases. Metta offers a different approach that may save substantial time but which requires modification of current search strategies and better indexing of randomized controlled trial articles. We envision Metta as one piece of a multi-tool pipeline that will assist systematic reviewers in retrieving, filtering and assessing publications. As such, Metta may find wide utility for anyone who is carrying out a comprehensive search of the biomedical literature.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The Metta export page(completed).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Fig6: The Metta export page(completed).

Mentions: On the result page (Figure 3), when the user clicks the “Export (with Deduplication)” link, this triggers Metta to pull all retrieved records from all databases, perform de-duplication for records from different databases (see below), and offer users the option to download the de-duplicated records as text files for offline use (Figures 5 and 6). The amount of time for export to be completed varies according to the number of records and their allocation among databases. Retrieval of full records was slowest for the PsycINFO database in which each record had to be re-queried and downloaded individually; although a thousand records could be exported in about a minute from the other databases, PsycINFO was at least 10 times slower. Users are offered two file download links for all the de-duplicated results, one for export in XML format (ideal for further computer processing) or BibTex format (this is designed to be compatible with with a wide range of commercial and open source reference manager software) (Figure 6).Figure 5


Design and implementation of Metta, a metasearch engine for biomedical literature retrieval intended for systematic reviewers.

Smalheiser NR, Lin C, Jia L, Jiang Y, Cohen AM, Yu C, Davis JM, Adams CE, McDonagh MS, Meng W - Health Inf Sci Syst (2014)

The Metta export page(completed).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4375844&req=5

Fig6: The Metta export page(completed).
Mentions: On the result page (Figure 3), when the user clicks the “Export (with Deduplication)” link, this triggers Metta to pull all retrieved records from all databases, perform de-duplication for records from different databases (see below), and offer users the option to download the de-duplicated records as text files for offline use (Figures 5 and 6). The amount of time for export to be completed varies according to the number of records and their allocation among databases. Retrieval of full records was slowest for the PsycINFO database in which each record had to be re-queried and downloaded individually; although a thousand records could be exported in about a minute from the other databases, PsycINFO was at least 10 times slower. Users are offered two file download links for all the de-duplicated results, one for export in XML format (ideal for further computer processing) or BibTex format (this is designed to be compatible with with a wide range of commercial and open source reference manager software) (Figure 6).Figure 5

Bottom Line: This creates special requirements and challenges for metasearch engine design and implementation.De-duplication of records returned from multiple databases was carried out in a prioritized fashion that favored retaining citations returned from PubMed.As such, Metta may find wide utility for anyone who is carrying out a comprehensive search of the biomedical literature.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612 USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Individuals and groups who write systematic reviews and meta-analyses in evidence-based medicine regularly carry out literature searches across multiple search engines linked to different bibliographic databases, and thus have an urgent need for a suitable metasearch engine to save time spent on repeated searches and to remove duplicate publications from initial consideration. Unlike general users who generally carry out searches to find a few highly relevant (or highly recent) articles, systematic reviewers seek to obtain a comprehensive set of articles on a given topic, satisfying specific criteria. This creates special requirements and challenges for metasearch engine design and implementation.

Methods: We created a federated search tool that is connected to five databases: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Retrieved bibliographic records were shown online; optionally, results could be de-duplicated and exported in both BibTex and XML format.

Results: The query interface was extensively modified in response to feedback from users within our team. Besides a general search track and one focused on human-related articles, we also added search tracks optimized to identify case reports and systematic reviews. Although users could modify preset search options, they were rarely if ever altered in practice. Up to several thousand retrieved records could be exported within a few minutes. De-duplication of records returned from multiple databases was carried out in a prioritized fashion that favored retaining citations returned from PubMed.

Conclusions: Systematic reviewers are used to formulating complex queries using strategies and search tags that are specific for individual databases. Metta offers a different approach that may save substantial time but which requires modification of current search strategies and better indexing of randomized controlled trial articles. We envision Metta as one piece of a multi-tool pipeline that will assist systematic reviewers in retrieving, filtering and assessing publications. As such, Metta may find wide utility for anyone who is carrying out a comprehensive search of the biomedical literature.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus