Background: Increasing numbers of research papers about information
retrieval (IR) for HTA and other evidence syntheses are being published.
Keeping up-to-date on the latest developments in the field is thus
time-consuming. All information specialists have to assess the same
papers before putting evidence into practice.
objectives: To present the development process of the IR Reference Tool.
Methods: A new working group of the HTAi ISG on Information Resources has been created to develop an IR Reference Tool describing and mapping on the state of current research evidence. Meetings occur face to face or through Web/phone conferencing. Domain structure of the HTA Core Model, an on-going project to standardize the structure of HTA developed by EUnetHTA, has been selected to structure the Tool. A specific format has been created for structured summaries of research papers.
Results: The prototype of the Tool is available as a section of the new HTAi vortal. All members of the working group can create and edit content on the website. A click on a domain name of this section takes the user to a chapter summarizing the current research evidence within this respective domain. Each chapter contains links to a bibliography providing current research evidence within the field of information retrieval for HTA, and to structured summaries of the relevant selected studies. References in the bibliography module provide links to online research articles when existing. In addition, the Tool provides chapters summarizing research-based information on general methods (e.g. how best to peer-review search strategies, and to document and report search processes).
Conclusions: IR Reference Tool will contribute to more evidence- based day-to-day working for HTA information specialists, further standardization of search methods and will serve as a common platform for all HTA information specialists. Content will continue to be added for a final version in 2013.