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Defining The Process To Literature Searching In Systematic Reviews
Beyer et al. report that databases can be prioritised for literature searching which, whilst not addressing the question of which databases to search, may at least bring clarity as to which databases to search first . Paradoxically, this links to studies that suggest PubMed should be searched in addition to MEDLINE since this improves the currency of systematic reviews . Cooper et al. have tested the idea of database searching not as a primary search method but as a supplementary search method in order to manage the volume of studies identified for an environmental effectiveness systematic review. Their case study compared the effectiveness of database searching versus a protocol using supplementary search methods and found that the latter identified more relevant studies for review than searching bibliographic databases . The need for thorough and comprehensive literature searches appears as uniform within the eight guidance documents that describe approaches to literature searching in systematic reviews of effectiveness. Reviews of effectiveness , accuracy and prognosis, require thorough and comprehensive literature searches to transparently produce a reliable estimate of intervention effect.
For more scientific research, you could organize by method. This means splitting up sources by the methods in which research was conducted. For example, one section focuses on double-blind studies while the other focuses on blind studies. You should also be open to some less academic sources, if it feels appropriate. For example, topical articles on film written by journalists may help supplement academic research if your topic is women in independent film. This can help showcase how attitudes towards female characters are changing, and how the voices of critics shape the trajectory of the film industry.
In this step, you implement the strategy developed in II in order to actually locate specific articles, books, technical reports, etc. The RG should decide on its policy for review of citations and coding of articles. BEME recommends that there should be two-person agreement on each aspect coded. In the event of difference of opinion, a third person should decide. For this reason it is unlikely that one person alone can conduct a BEME review. The BEME Collaboration recommends that as far as is reasonably possible studies should not be excluded on the grounds of either geography or language.
While doing the literature search, make notes from the “Suggestions for Future Work” in the papers you find relevant and interesting. This will help you formulate your research question better and make the focus of your research clearer. This article is a quick guide to conducting a literature search. Choose from PhD-qualified researchers in over 2,500 subjects. Eccles Health Sciences medical librarians are able to provide expertise in articulating the clinical question, identifying appropriate data sources, and locating the best evidence in the shortest amount of time. The Cochrane Handbook was the only guidance document to note that the full search strategies for each database should be included in the Additional file 1 of the review .
A potential limitation of this literature review is the focus on guidance produced in Europe and Australia. We justify the decision for our selection of the nine guidance documents reviewed in this literature review in section “Identifying guidance”. In brief, these nine guidance documents were selected as the most relevant health care guidance that inform UK systematic reviewing practice, given that the UK occupies a prominent position in the science of health information retrieval. One area that is less well covered by the guidance, but nevertheless appears in this literature, is the quality appraisal or peer review of literature search strategies. The PRESS checklist is the most prominent and it aims to develop evidence-based guidelines to peer review of electronic search strategies . A corresponding guideline for documentation of supplementary search methods does not yet exist although this idea is currently being explored.