Opinion Review
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2023. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Methodol. Dec 20, 2023; 13(5): 390-398
Published online Dec 20, 2023. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v13.i5.390
Evidence-based literature review: De-duplication a cornerstone for quality
Barbara Hammer, Elettra Virgili, Federico Bilotta
Barbara Hammer, Librarian at Medical Library, University of Bergen, Bergen 5020, Norway
Elettra Virgili, Federico Bilotta, Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome 00166, Italy
Author contributions: Hammer B contributed to the literature search; Virgili E involved in the extraction; Bilotta F participated in the project design data revision; Hammer B, Virgili E, and Bilotta F wrote the manuscript; and all authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All the authors report no relevant conflicts of interest for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: https://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Federico Bilotta, MD, PhD, Professor, Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, viale del Policlinico, 155, Rome 00166, Italy. federico.bilotta@uniroma1.it
Received: October 10, 2023
Peer-review started: October 10, 2023
First decision: October 24, 2023
Revised: November 3, 2023
Accepted: November 29, 2023
Article in press: November 29, 2023
Published online: December 20, 2023

Evidence-based literature reviews play a vital role in contemporary research, facilitating the synthesis of knowledge from multiple sources to inform decision-making and scientific advancements. Within this framework, de-duplication emerges as a part of the process for ensuring the integrity and reliability of evidence extraction. This opinion review delves into the evolution of de-duplication, highlights its importance in evidence synthesis, explores various de-duplication methods, discusses evolving technologies, and proposes best practices. By addressing ethical considerations this paper emphasizes the significance of de-duplication as a cornerstone for quality in evidence-based literature reviews.

Keywords: Duplicate publications as topic, Databases, Bibliographic, Artificial intelligence, Systematic reviews as topic, Review literature as topic, De-duplication, Duplicate references, Reference management software

Core Tip: Effective de-duplication is crucial for maintaining the quality and credibility of systematic reviews. It ensures data accuracy, eliminates bias, reduces workload, and enhances trust in findings. However, challenges such as variability in data, database indexing, and resource constraints exist. Best practices include clear documentation, the use of reference management software, manual review when necessary, handling multiple versions of the same paper, addressing non-journal sources, and ethical considerations. Advancements like Deduklick and Automated Systematic Search Deduplicator offer promise for more accurate and efficient de-duplication methods. De-duplication is a fundamental step in evidence synthesis, contributing to transparent and reproducible research in systematic reviews.