Effectiveness and efficiency of search methods in systematic reviews of complex evidence: audit of primary sources.

TitleEffectiveness and efficiency of search methods in systematic reviews of complex evidence: audit of primary sources.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsGreenhalgh T, Peacock R
JournalBMJ (Clinical research ed.)
Volume331
Issue7524
Pagination1064-5
Date Published2005 Nov 5
ISSN1756-1833
KeywordsData Collection; Information Storage and Retrieval; Review Literature as Topic
AbstractOBJECTIVE: To describe where papers come from in a systematic review of complex evidence. Method Audit of how the 495 primary sources for the review were originally identified. RESULTS: Only 30% of sources were obtained from the protocol defined at the outset of the study (that is, from the database and hand searches). Fifty one per cent were identified by "snowballing" (such as pursuing references of references), and 24% by personal knowledge or personal contacts. CONCLUSION: Systematic reviews of complex evidence cannot rely solely on protocol-driven search strategies.
DOI10.1136/bmj.38636.593461.68
Alternate JournalBMJ