Appraisal of: Levay P, Ainsworth N, Kettle R, Morgan A. Identifying evidence for public health guidance: a comparison of citation searching with Web of Science and Google Scholar. Res Synth Methods. 2016;7:34-45.
To examine how effectively forwards citation searching with Web of Science (WOS) or Google Scholar (GS) identified evidence to support public health guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
The searches identified 43 relevant publications. The WOS process had 86.05% recall and 1.58% precision. The GS process had 90.7% recall and 1.62% precision. There were nine highly important publications. WOS had 100% recall and GS 88.89% recall.
WOS is recommended over GS, as citation searching was more effective, while the administrative and screening times and costs were lower.