Data source to get novels searching�
Conference abstracts are considered ‘grey literature’, i.e. literature that is not formally published in journals or books . Therefore, failure to search relevant grey literature might miss certain data and bias the results of a review. Although conference abstracts are not indexed in most major electronic databases, they are available in databases such as BIOSIS Previews . However, as with many unpublished studies, these data did not undergo the peer review process that is often a tool for assessing and possibly improving the quality of the publication. Defining the key stages in this review helps categorise the scholarship available, and it prioritises areas for development or further study. The supporting studies on preparing for literature searching (key stage three, ‘preparation’) were, for example, comparatively few, and yet this key stage represents a decisive moment in literature searching for systematic reviews.
Commonly used tools include desktop or web-based word processors and spreadsheet software. Web-based software (e.g. Google Docs or Google Sheets) should be considered for collaborative projects. Tufts provides access to EndNote and F1000 Workspace for faculty, students and staff. Other options are Mendeley and Zotero, free citation management programs. Adapted from the Georgia State University Library, the Evidence Analysis Log “is where you make notes about each article that is relevant to your literature review.” Adapted from the Georgia State University Library, the Literature Search Tracking Log “is where you can list the subject headings you used in your search, which databases you searched and how many results you found for each search.”
The aim of this review is therefore to determine if a shared model of the literature searching process in systematic reviews can be detected across guidance documents and, if so, how this process is reported and supported. Systematic literature searching is recognised as a critical component of the systematic review process. Searches with more specific keywords (i.e. chemical compound names, known alternatives, species being proposed), take less time than very broad generic online searches.
In Table 2, we demonstrate consensus regarding the application of literature search methods. All guidance documents distinguish between primary and supplementary search methods. Bibliographic database searching is consistently the first method of literature searching referenced in each guidance document. Whilst the guidance uniformly supports the use of supplementary search methods, there is little evidence for a consistent process with diverse guidance across documents. This may reflect differences in the core focus across each document, linked to differences in identifying effectiveness studies or qualitative studies, for instance.
Filters include article/publication type, age, language, publication years, and species. The PICO question framework is a formula for developing answerable, researchable questions. Using PICO guides you in your search for evidence and may even help you be more efficient in the process (Click here to learn all about PICO). Plan using PICO to develop your clinical question and formulate a search strategy.