This is an archived version of the Handbook. For the current version, please go to or search for this chapter here.  Re-executing the search

When there are no changes to the review question and selection criteria, searching for new studies is the first, and defining, step of the updating process. For CRGs with sufficient resources, the periodic identification of potentially relevant studies and forwarding of citations to review authors is an ongoing function of the editorial team (usually the role of the Trials Search Co-ordinator). In other instances, review authors will need to execute the search themselves. At a minimum, strategies to identify new studies for a review update should include re-executing the search strategy, forward from the ‘Date of search’ of the last update (see Chapter 6 for methods of designing and executing searches).


Where there have been advances in search methods or the authors believe the search strategy from the original review could be improved, the new search will need to be executed for the period from the date of last search, and the additional or modified search terms applied to the search period covered in the original review.