“The largest source of systematic reviews relevant for health-decision making, and a large source of other types of scientific evidence.”
Not-for-profit foundation based in Chile (although the interface and vast bulk of the content is English language).
- Excellent first port of call for identifying systematic reviews.
- Good for a scoping search to quickly identify the likely breadth of the literature and identify relevant studies
- Matrix of evidence option provides a very clear overview of evidence for many topics
- Only includes primary literature that has already been included in a systematic review
- May not yet include the most recently published reviews
Free to access – you need to register for an account.
- Systematic reviews (contains over 200,000 systematic reviews.)
- Overviews of reviews (eg review of systematic reviews, evidence summary such as BMJ Clinical Evidence.)
- Evidence-based policy briefs.
- Primary studies (note: only studies from systematic reviews included in Epistemonikos.)
- Regularly searched: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; PubMed; Embase; Cinahl; PsycInfo; LILACS; DARE; Campbell Collaboration; JBI Database of Systematic Reviews; EPPI-Centre Evidence Library.
- Use a mix of automated and human-mediated searches to identify relevant content.
- Review the full text of reviews to identify included studies.
- Prepare matrices of evidence to show the breadth of evidence available for a particular question.
- Primary goal is to identify and include all systematic reviews.
How to search:
- Google-style basic search box.
- Advanced search option allows you to:
- search particular fields (title/abstract, title only, abstract only, authors.)
- build up a multi-set search and combine sets.
- use Boolean terms (AND/OR/NOT) and parenthesis to combine search terms.
- use truncation (*)
- search exact phrases “ “
- Advanced search does not support:
- Proximity searching.
- Controlled vocabulary (there are no subject headings.)
- Non-English language (However Basic search supports 9 languages.)
- Results are sorted by relevance using an algorithm.
- For searches with enough results to support this, the results are available as a “Matrix of Evidence” which visualises the available evidence for a given question. These list the relevant systematic reviews and the studies included in these reviews. If a matrix of evidence is available, a link to it will be displayed as the top result.
- Results can be filtered using a side menu by:
- Publication type.
- Publication year.
- Clicking on a title gives the full record including abstract where available, number of primary studies (if a review) and links to related evidence.
- Links to full text are via Pubmed or DOI.
- Results can be exported individually from the full record view or by selecting from the results list and then clicking on the “Selected” link at the top of the list. Results download as an RIS file which can be imported into Refworks.
- You can view/download all the primary studies included in a review by clicking on the link in the record that reads “This article includes [x] Primary studies."
- You can view/download all systematic reviews that include a particular primary study by clicking on the link in the record that reads “This article is included in [x] Systematic reviews.”
- You can save your search & results within Epistemonikos and access these again via your Dashboard.