Automating Search Updates for Systematic Reviews by Building a Living Search Systems: Barriers and Solutions

11 min readDec 3, 2023
Automation of Search Updates. Image by AI: Microspft Bing Image Creator powered by DALL·E 3

All systematic reviews are as up-to-date as their search date. The systematic reviews start getting out of date as soon as the search is finished, even though you have not even started the screening.

It is also accepted that depending on the topic of your review, your systematic review may require weekly, monthly, quarterly, biennial, or annual update searches. One way is to assume that you will always have access to your library resources and that the librarians actually have time to run searches for zillions of systematic reviews. If you have access to such librarians, enjoy your luxury life!

Those who don’t have access to search experts (librarians and information specialists) are trying so hard to replace them with machines! If you are one of them, I must disappoint you because this post is not about that.

However, if you care about saving resources (including your librarians’ precious time), and you have the resources to handle the steps after searches, it seems logical to build a workflow to automate the update searches.

The steps for automating the update search are as follow:

A. A search expert, designs, and tests the searches. A second search expert…




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