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The COVID-19 Repository is the landing page for the evidence and rapid reviews that were conducted to support Saskatchewan decision-makers during the COVID pandemic. The term of CEST concluded on June 30, 2022.


 View help information on database search techniques

 To view help information on database features and functionality, please see below.


Table of Contents

1. Searching the COVID-19 Evidence Review Database

2. Simple Search

3. Browsing by Research Team

4. Browsing by Review Status

5. Advanced Search

6. Browsing by Subject

7. Refining Results

8. Printing, Downloading, and Emailing

9. Sorting Search Results

10. Finding Links to Documents

11. Your Cart & Exporting Citations

1. Searching the COVID-19 Evidence Review Database

When you search the database, it looks through all of the record fields (e.g. title, subject headings, Research Team) attached to each document and it simultaneously searches the actual text of all documents. The database consists of the following document types:

  1. Evidence Search Reports (ESR) compile scholarly publications and other literature addressing the specific research question. ESRs are prepared by the SHA Library.
  2. Rapid Reviews (RR) summarize and/or synthesize the evidence found in the publications and other literature to aid decision making. RRs are conducted by the Research Teams.
  3. Supplementary documents are supporting materials considered to be highly relevant to the specific research question under review. Note that only some questions have related Supplementary documents.
  4. Table documents consist of supporting data and statistics considered to be highly relevant to the specific research question under review. Note that only some questions have related Table documents.

Note: A research question may have both an ESR and a RR (and sometimes also Supplementary or Table documents), thus the question may appear multiple times in search results unless a specific Document Type is selected.



2. Simple Search

Enter single keywords or terms to find all related documents. If searching for a phrase, add parentheses ("quotation marks") around the phrase (e.g. "face masks"). If you are interested in viewing just Evidence Search Reports or Rapid Reviews, ensure that the box next to each document type is checked. You may leave the boxes unchecked if you wish to see both document types.

Here are some tips to improve your search results:

  • Use one or two keywords about the content you are searching for instead of searching for questions or sentences. E.g. instead of “Screening strategies for patients in Long Term Care facilities,” try “screening strategies” or “Long Term Care.”
  • If you are not getting any or too few results, make your search terms shorter and less specific. E.g. if “asymptomatic testing protocols” doesn’t work, try “asymptomatic tests.”



3. Browsing by Research Team

From the homepage, click on a Research Team to view all documents by the specific team. To view the members on each team explore the Teams page located in the menu above.



4. Browsing by Review Status

From the homepage, click on a Review Status to view all documents designated by the specific stage of the review process.

  1. On Hold indicates research questions that have been submitted for review but have been temporarily paused. Note that these questions will not have a completed Evidence Search Report or a Rapid Review report.
  2. Search in progress indicates research questions which are currently being addressed by the SHA Library through comprehensive literature searching. Note that these questions will not have a completed Evidence Search Report or a Rapid Review report.
  3. Review in progress indicates the current research questions which have a completed Evidence Search Report. The ESR is now being reviewed by the designated Research Team. Note that these question will not have a completed Rapid Review report.
  4. Completed indicates all questions which have undergone a comprehensive evidence search and a review of the evidence by the designated Research Team. These questions will have both an Evidence Search Report and a Rapid Review Report. Note that some completed questions may be ongoing with multiple Rapid Review reports.



5. Advanced Search

Use the Advanced search feature to construct more precise searches. Click on the green Advanced Search link to see options.

There are four main areas:

  1. Search Fields allow you to select a specific aspect of the documents to search rather than just the title or the subject headings (as is the case with simple searching). You may search the following fields:
  • Category allows you to search by broad topics under which questions are organized (e.g. Diagnostics).
  • Clinical Setting allows you to search by a healthcare context or facility (e.g. Ambulatory).
  • Document Type allows you to search by a specific type of document (e.g. Evidence Search Report).
  • Population allows you to search by a defined group of patients or community members (e.g. Infants).
  • Priority allows you to search by the review priority level, including:
    • Level 1 completed within 4 hours
    • Level 2 completed within 8 hours
    • Level 3 completed within 2-3 days
    • Level 4 completed within 1 week
    • Level 5 completed within 2 weeks
  • Review Code allows you to search by the unique code assigned to each document (e.g. EOC091101 RR). Note that this is most helpful if you know the code in advance.
  • Status allows you to search by a specific step in the review process (e.g. Completed).
  • Subject allows you to search by subject headings. Each document is "tagged" with several subject headings that describe its content and nature of the research question (e.g. Intubation).
  • Title allows you to search just the title of the research questions. 

2. Contains/ Does not contain allows you to include or exclude specific keywords or phrases by search field.

3. Search Bars. You may enter up to three different keywords or phrases to search simultaneously. You may use any combination of Search Fields and/or Contains/ Does not contain. See example below.

4. Document Type Options. If you are interested in viewing Evidence Search Reports only or Rapid Reviews only, ensure that the box next to each document type is checked. You may leave the boxes unchecked if you wish to see both document types.

Example Advanced Search:



6. Browsing by Subject

To browse by subject, click on the green Advanced Search link from the homepage and then click on the "Browse Subjects" tab. Each document is "tagged" with several subject headings that describe its content and nature of the research question.

Subjects are organized alphabetically. Select a letter to view all subject headings beginning with that letter and a count of how many documents are tagged with a specific subject.  Click on a subject to view all documents tagged with the subject.



7. Refining Results

You may refine search results by selecting one or more filter options located on the left hand side of the page. Click on the small square next to any filter option (a green check mark will appear) and click "APPLY" to filter the results.



8. Printing and Downloading 

There are two different aspects of the database that you may print and/or download:

  1. Search results. From the search results view, click on the "Print" or "PDF" icons located at the top to print or download the listed results of your search. You may also select either "List View" or "Citation View" to change the format of the search results to be printed or downloaded.


  2. Individual documents. You may print or download any document (such as Evidence Search Reports and Rapid Reviews). Print or download documents in the following ways:
    • From the results view, click on the title of a document, the PDF will open in your web browser. Print or download from the PDF view by clicking on the printer or page-with-a-downward-arrow icon.
    • From the results view, click on the green "More Detail" button for any record. The view will expand to show additional information. At the bottom of the expanded view will appear a thumbnail image of the document with options to "Read PDF" and "Download PDF." The first option opens the document in your web browser, the second downloads the document to your computer.




9. Sorting Search Results

You may sort search results by clicking on the "Sorted by Relevance" button located at the top right of any search results view. A drop-down menu will appear listing sort options, select one to apply it.

  • Sorted by Relevance organizes the results based on how close a specific document matches the search terms entered. The most relevant appear at the top.
  • Sorted by Research Question/ Review Title organizes the results alphabetically.
  • Sort by Newest organizes the results by listing the latest documents at the top.
  • Sort by Oldest organizes the results by listing the oldest documents at the top.



Each document is tagged with a unique URL or "permalink" which does not change and is ideal if you wish to share or save the online location of a document.

To find a link to any document, click on the "Permalink" button located next to the "Add to Cart" button. The full record of the document will open in your web browser. The "Permalink" is located in your web browser's URL/ address bar. Highlight the URL, right-click (or enter Ctrl+C) to copy the link, and then right-click (or enter Ctril-+V) to paste the link where needed.




11. Your Cart and Exporting Citations

To print, download, email, and/or export selected documents, add documents of interest to your "Cart" by clicking on the "Add to Cart" button which displays with each record.


View your cart by clicking on "Your Cart" located in the top right corner of the menu bar.


The cart view provides options to print, download, export, and email the documents in your cart. The "Export" button downloads a .ris file which can be added to a citation management tool like Endnote. You may also change the view of the documents in your cart to show in "List View," "Table View," or "Citation View" before printing, downloading, exporting, or emailing the documents. Click on "Empty the Cart" to remove all documents currently in your cart.