About the database

Where does an evidence gap come from?

The evidence gaps in SBU’s database mainly derive from SBU’s reports, national guidelines from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), reports from the regional HTA organizations and other published systematic overviews. The evidence gaps are gathered from the reports and published in the database on SBU's website.

The contents of SBU’s database on evidence gaps

The database contains information on where research or summarized knowledge is lacking. Note that the database only contains evidence gaps for practice-based research and does not include basic research. The content is steadily changing as new scientific evidence gaps are continuously added to the database, while others are undergoing further research or being removed. During 2021 we started to translate evidence gaps published in SBU’s database into English, focusing on what has been published recently. So far, only a small amount of these evidence gaps have been published on SBU’s website, but the work will continue for the coming years. However, if you are interested in our work with evidence gaps, or if you would like to know if a certain topic has been identified and registered as an evidence gap in our database, you are most welcome to contact us.

In 2021 an inventory of the Swedish version of SBU’s database and The UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs) was performed in the area of mental health and published in a report .

Contact persons

  • Marie Österberg (marie.osterberg@sbu.se)
  • Lena Wallgren (lena.wallgren@sbu.se)

How to use SBU’s database on evidence gaps

The database has a search function that makes it possible to find certain areas or categories. Some of the categories specify what ages and genders each evidence gap applies to. There are also categories that specify the source from where the evidence gap was identified, as well as what type of research is needed. It is also possible to search for evidence gaps prioritezed according to the James Lind Alliance process.

The search results can be exported to Excel (open data). This makes the information easier to use and to, for example, list evidence gaps within certain fields or conduct analyses of the contents of the database.

In an accessory database derived from the The UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs) , SBU also provides access to evidence gaps identified from the UK.

Evidence gaps from The UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs)

There is a former, now archived database, for evidence gaps within medical, dental and social research: The UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs). SBU functions as a repository for this database. An Excel file containing evidence gaps identified by DUETs (a total of approximately 11,000 evidence gaps recorded between 2005 and 2016) is accessible via the SBU website. This file also includes references to the scientific reports and systematic reviews in which the evidence gaps were identified.

The evidence gaps registered in the archived database were derived from different types of scientific publications. The main sources include CochraneNICE Guidance, and James Lind Alliance Research Priorities. Note that SBU has not critically assessed the underlying reports and systematic reviews.

Parts of the contents in the archived database can also be found in the SBU database. The archived DUETs database is not updated, and the most recently identified evidence gap is from March 2016.

The archived DUETs database can be found here

If you have any questions or identify an evidence gap that may need an update, please contact SBU.