Appraisal of: Papaioannou D, Sutton A, Carroll C, Booth A, Wong R. Literature searching for social science systematic reviews: consideration of a range of search techniques. Health Info Lib J. 2010; 27(2): 114-122.

Short description: 

A conventional subject search was undertaken as the principal method of identifying the literature for this review. Four supplementary search methods were used including citation searching, reference list checking, contact with experts and pearl growing.

11 of  41 references were identified via citation searching, reference list checking and contact with experts (27%). Pearl growing was suspended as the nominated pearls were dispersed across numerous databases, with no single database indexing more than four pearls. Citation searching identified 3 (5 ?) references, reference list checking 4, and contact with experts 2 additional references. Problems in indexing, ambiguity of terms and limited abstract content resulted in reduced sensitivity for the main subject search.

Limitations stated by the author(s): 

No limitations were stated by the authors.

Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
Generalisabilty may be limited as the information retrieval of only one systematic review was assessed.
Study Type: 
Single study