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Why Conduct Literature Searches For Alternatives?

In addition, not all systematic reviews are of the same quality. This review calls for further research to determine the suitability of using the conventional approach. The publication dates of the guidance documents which underpin the conventional approach may raise questions as to whether the process which they each report remains valid for current systematic literature searching. What is not clear is the extent to which the guidance documents inter-relate or provide guidance uniquely.

Finding the same citations over and over in your search results, or new articles presenting concepts or findings very similar to what you have already uncovered suggest it may be time to stop. Depending on the breadth of your search, time to locate and review documents should be factored into the search schedule. Relevant information may be found as a component of a larger document and may not be indexed separately (e.g., a table within an article or a chapter within a book). Do not immediately discount more general material in your search results. After topics are defined and well understood, and the resources to search are chosen, it is time to select search terms.

Eight documents provided guidance on who should undertake literature searching in systematic reviews . The guidance affirms that people with relevant expertise of literature searching should ‘ideally’ be included within the review team . Information specialists , librarians or trial search co-ordinators are indicated as appropriate researchers in six guidance documents . From the guidance, we determined eight key stages that relate specifically to literature searching in systematic reviews. Table 2 reports the areas of common agreement and it demonstrates that the language used to describe key stages and processes varies significantly between guidance documents. We were able to identify consensus across the guidance on literature searching for systematic reviews suggesting a shared implicit model within the information retrieval community.

These examples start with very, very broad topics, so the topic at step 3 or 4 in these examples would be used for a preliminary search in the literature in order to identify a more specific focus. Greater specificity than level 3 or 4 will ultimately be necessary for developing a specific research question. And we may discover in our preliminary research that we need to alter the direction that we originally were taking. The RG should determine the years to be covered by the search, depending on the topic area to be reviewed.

Even environmental enrichment can be considered an alternative. Conducting a literature review is usually recursive, meaning that somewhere along the way, you’ll find yourself repeating steps out-of-order. Please also list any non-financial associations or interests that a reasonable reader would want to know about in relation to the submitted work. This pertains to all the authors of the piece, their spouses or partners. Using a citation manager will allow you to remove duplicates when you screen. Your informationist can also recommend screening software and strategies.

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