New standards for searching for studies: an update on the MECIR project

Topic category Searching and information retrieval
Date and Location
Wednesday 3 October 2012 - 13:30 - 15:00
Methods Group
Methods Group: 
Information Retrieval Methods Group
Contact persons and facilitators
Contact person Affiliation Country
Carol Lefebvre (Contact this person) Cochrane Information Retrieval Methods Group United Kingdom
Facilitator Affiliation Country
Carol Lefebvre Cochrane Information Retrieval Methods Group United Kingdom
Target audience
Target audience: 
Trials Search Co-ordinators, other information specialists and review authors with experience of searching for studies
Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?: 
Level of knowledge required: 
Type of workshop
Type of workshop: 
Abstract text
As part of the ongoing work to improve the quality of Cochrane Reviews, the Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) project was established to:
1. specify methodological expectations, or standards, for Cochrane protocols, reviews and updates of reviews of the effects of interventions; and
2. ensure these methodological expectations are implemented across the Collaboration.

This workshop will focus on methodological expectations (standards) with respect to searching for studies. It will provide an opportunity for an update on progress in this important area and for Trials Search Co-ordinators and others responsible for searching for studies for Cochrane intervention reviews to discuss these issues.

A MECIR Working Group on searching for studies was established, including Trials Search Co-ordinators, review authors and editors. The Group identified essential minimum standards (i.e. mandatory standards - reviews not meeting these standards should not be published) and highly desirable standards (practice which is expected but, justifiably, may not be done). The agreed standards, released in December 2011, relate to new Cochrane intervention reviews (not protocols or updates) and will be reviewed in 2013. The next stage of the process is to identify standards for the reporting of Cochrane intervention reviews.