Resources for handsearchers

What is handsearching and why do it?
Handsearching is the term used to describe the act of manually searching the contents of a journal issue or conference proceedings in order to identify eligible reports of clinical trials.
It is a useful adjunct to electronic searches of databases such as MEDLINE/PubMed as:
  1. Not all journals or conference proceedings are included in the major biomedical databases; and
  2. Even when reports of trials are included in databases, they may not be indexed in ways that make them easily retrievable. This is particularly true for older reports of trials published before 1991, when there was no indexing term for RCTs in MEDLINE.
Click here to see further information from the Skin Group on the value of handsearching, or read: Handsearching versus electronic searching to identify reports of randomized trials. Hopewell S., Clarke M., Lefebvre C., Scherer R. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (2):MR000001, 2007.

Handsearching and Cochrane

Handsearching is one of the ways in which data about clinical trials is being collected by Cochrane. Cochrane Skin has run large handsearching projects in the past, but due to the intensive effort required, we are currently handsearching only a small number of journals. We also handsearch some conference proceedings, concentrating on those published during the last five years.

See below for a list of the dermatology journals and conference proceedings handsearched either previously or currently:

Journals (titles currently being handsearched are in bold)

Journal title
Years handsearched / notes 
Acta Dermato Venereologica
From 2000 to end 2014.
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas (Spanish)
Actualidad Dermatologica
1971-1999 incomplete. 
1980-1995, 1997-1998 complete; 1996 & 1999 incomplete.  
Australasian Journal of Dermatology
From 1965 to February 2015. 
British Journal of Dermatology
From 1965 to December 2015. 
BMC Dermatology
Chinese Journal of Dermatology
Chinese Journal of Dermatovenereology
Chinese Journal of Leprosy & Skin Disease
Clinical & Experimental Dermatology
From 1976 to December 2015.
Contact Dermatitis
1975 to 2009. 
1965-6 not available, 1967 to 2004. 
Dermatologic Surgery
Dermatologica Internationalis
Dermatologica Tropica
1992 to 2004 done, access to this journal no longer available. 
European Journal of Dermatology
Hifubyo Shinryo (Japanese)
Indian Journal of Dermatology
2009 to December 2015.
International Journal of Dermatology
1985 to 2005. 
International Journal of Leprosy & Other Mycobacterial Diseases
Iranian Journal of Dermatology
JAMA Dermatology (formerly Archives of Dermatology
From 1966 to December 2014. 
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
From 1979 to December 2015.
Journal of Chinese AIDS/STD Prevention & Control
Journal of Chinese Leprosy
Journal of Clinical Dermatology (Chinese)
Journal of Dermatological Treatment
Journal of Dermatology & Venereology (Chinese)
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology
2002-December 2011.
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology
Journal of Investigative Dermatology
From 1980 to November 2015. 
Journal of the Philippine Dermatological Society
Leprosy Review
1953 to 2001 completed, but some gaps. 
Medicina Cutanea Ibero-Latino Americana 
1973-2000 incomplete.   
Melanoma Research
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Dermatologie en Venereologie
1991 -2001.
Pediatric Dermatology
From 1984 to November/December 2014. 
Revista Chilena de Dermatologia
Rinsho Derma (Japanese)
Rinsho Hifuka (Japanese)

Conference proceedings – the following have been handsearched

American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 (64th, 65th, 68th, 69th meetings).
Asian Congress of Dermatology
2005 (7th meeting) incorporating the 5th Regional Congress of Paediatric Dermatology).
Australasian College of Dermatologists (37th, 38th & 39th meetings) 2004-2006 also the Australian & New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society 2004, the 25th- 27th Annual Conferences of the Australasian Dermopathology Society 2004 -2006
British Association of Dermatologists (BAD)
1980-2007, 2011, 2012, 2013 (60th-87th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd meetings).
British Society for Investigative Dermatology (BSID)
1992, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002.
British Society for Paediatric Dermatologists
2002, 2005 (16th and 20th meetings).
British Society for Photodermatologists (BPDG)
1992, 1998, 2001.
Congres Annuel de la Recherche 
European Academy of Dermato-Venereology (EADV)
1995, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006. 
European Academy of Dermato-Venereology Spring Symposium
2006 (4th meeting).  
European Association of Dermato-Oncology
2006 (3rd meeting). 
European Congress on Psoriasis
European Dermatoepidemiology Network-International Dermatoepidemiology Association
2001 (3rd meeting).
European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR)
1999-2003 (29th-32nd meetings), 2005 (35th meeting), 2010, 2011 (40th, 41st meetings). 
European Wound Management Association
2007 (17th meeting).
Intercontinental Meeting of the Hair Research Societies
1998, 2003 (2nd and 3rd meetings).
International Congress on Dermato-Epidemiology (IDEA)
2012 (6th meeting).
International Investigative Dermatology
2003, (4th Joint Meeting ESDR, SID & Japanese SID), 2008. 
International Itch Workshop
2005 (3rd meeting). 
International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis (ISAD)
2003, 2005.
International Workshop on Alopecia Areata
1998, 2003 (3rd & 4th meetings). 
International Workshop on Neurobiology of the Skin
International Workshop for the Study of Itch
2005 (3rd meeting). 
Montagna Symposium on Biology of the Skin
2001 (49th meeting).
Nordic Congress of Dermatology & Venereology
2004 (30th meeting).
Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID)
1999-2006 (60th-63rd, 65th-67th meetings). Note there was no 64th meeting because it was part of the joint meeting of Investigative International Dermatology. 2010, 2011.
World Congress
1997, 2002 (19th-20th meetings).
World Congress on Cancer of the Skin
2001, 2007 (8th and 11th meetings).

What happens to handsearched reports of trials?

Reports of dermatology trials identified through handsearching are added to the Cochrane Skin Specialised Register and then submitted to the Cochrane Library’s CENTRAL database.

Dermatology journals

Cochrane Skin have historically maintained a list here of known dermatology journals. However, this is no longer current.