Data bank regarding materials searching�

3 Search The Literature

Key texts (henceforth referred to as “guidance”) were identified based upon their accessibility to, and prominence within, United Kingdom systematic reviewing practice. Beside the legal aspect, there are many other benefits of the alternatives search. Many researchers run literature searches when designing a study. This helps determine if the research is original or “unnecessary duplication” .

Think about what kind of sources are typically used when researching a given field.You’ll need a combination of sources for any research project, so be open to a wide variety of material. Usually, for academic research, academic journals published through universities are a good place to start. There are general academic journals, and also journals specific to a single field. The concept of alternatives was conceived as the three Rs by W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch in their book The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique.

You may also be able to find databases online that contain many academic sources. Online databases like JSTOR and Academic One File, for example, can be good places. Keep in mind, however, you need a subscription for a lot of these types of sources.

However, if no method was specified, there are several ways to organize your search. A literary search is an important part of any research work. It allows you to have a comprehensive listing of relevant sources on a given topic.

Every database uses filters to help you narrow your search. There are different filters in each database, but they tend to work in similar ways. Use filters to help you refine your search, rather than adding those keywords to the search.

Despite strong endorsement in the guidance documents, specifically supported in PRISMA guidance, and other related reporting standards too , authors still highlight the prevalence of poor standards of literature search reporting . Atkinson et al. have also analysed reporting standards for literature searching, summarising recommendations and gaps for reporting search strategies . The average number of bibliographic database searched in systematic reviews has risen in the period 1994– but there remains no consensus on what constitutes an acceptable number of databases searched . This is perhaps because thinking about the number of databases searched is the wrong question, researchers should be focused on which databases were searched and why, and which databases were not searched and why. The discussion should re-orientate to the differential value of sources but researchers need to think about how to report this in studies to allow findings to be generalised. Bethel has proposed ‘search summaries’, completed by the literature searcher, to record where included studies were identified, whether from database or supplementary search methods .

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