Available Until 5/16/2023

Effectiveness and Efficiency in Exhaustive Searches (CE100)

Go to MLA/SLA ’23 to register! Registration now open.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

Cost: $395 (non-MLA/SLA member: $510)

Attendance maximum: 25

Learn an efficient and effective method for conducting exhaustive searches. Demonstrations and hands-on exercises will introduce you to the method. Practice in Ovid Medline, Embase.com or PubMed under the guidance of an experienced information specialist will hone your skills. You’ll leave the course able to create complex searches checked for completeness and translated between databases and interfaces much faster than with traditional methods.

This course is an approved elective for Level I of the Systematic Review Searching Specialization. It is not part of the SRSS Level I Learning Pathway.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze a research question and extract search terms
  • Create complex search strategies for systematic reviews in an efficient wa
  • Optimize search strategies to identify missed relevant search terms
  • Use macros to semi-automatically translate search strategies between different databases


Participants should have knowledge of the search process (e.g., Boolean operators and MeSH terms) and experience in searching databases such as MEDLINE / PubMed.


Wichor M. Bramer, PhD, is an information specialist at Erasmus MC Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in which capacity he designs and manages the searches for more than 200 systematic reviews a year. He has written several publications on his methods and observations on his systematic review searches, co-authored more than seventy-five systematic reviews, and has given many international workshops and lectures on searching for systematic reviews. In October 2019 he successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Serving Evidence Syntheses”.

MLA CE Credits: 6