Handsearch results that are relevant to the scope of your Group, should be entered in your Register and added to CENTRAL if they meet the inclusion criteria. Records should be entered according to Cochrane HarmoniSR guidance, in the same way as other references or trial reports in your Register.
The formatting of the fields within your register is important, information specialists should use the HarmoniSR guidance to ensure that records are consistent. This guidance can be found on the Information Specialists' Portal in the Specialised Register section. The HarmoniSR group was originally formed to try and standardise the format of trial registry records in the CRS. This work also encompass mappings for CRS study records, as well as other types of reference records where there is currently variation in mapping and content of fields.
Results that are not within the scope of your Group but still meet the criteria for inclusion in CENTRAL should be entered in the ‘Handsearch segment’ of the CRS. These records do not appear in your segment or Register – instead, the CRS provides a holding area where you can store hand search records prior to submitting them for publication in CENTRAL.
- The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a course called Handsearching: Identifying and Classifying Controlled Trial Reports. This course is free of charge to Cochrane Information Specialists, who can register with the TRAMS system via the link above to gain access to the course.
- Cochrane United States offers a Training manual for handsearchers. This was published in 2002 but the information is still current.
- Cochrane United States also offers Resources for Handsearchers. The links to resources are still current, although Cochrane United States is no longer responsible for handsearching activities.
- Cochrane Register of Studies Online has a tab called 'Handsearched journals'. This resource is only available to users who have an Archie Account.
- The importance of handsearching was highlighted by this Cochrane Review: Hopewell S, Clarke MJ, Lefebvre C, Scherer RW. Handsearching versus electronic searching to identify reports of randomized trials. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 2. Art. No.: MR000001. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.MR000001.pub2