Appraisal of: Belter CW. "A relevance ranking method for citation-based search results." Scientometrics 2017;112(2): 731-746.

Reviewer(s): 
Short description: 

This study tests a method which was modified from a previous study (Belter 2016). In this paper, the author proposed a method of ranking the relevance of citation-based search results to a set of key, or seed, papers by measuring the number of citation relationships they share with those key papers.

The method was tested against 23 published systematic reviews and it was found that the method retrieved 87% of the studies included in these reviews. Additional testing suggested that the method may be less appropriate for reviews that combine literature in ways that are not reflected in the literature itself. 

Limitations stated by the author(s): 

 

These results also suggests that the opposite is also true: that the method is less successful, and therefore less appropriate for literature retrieval, in reviews that combine topics in ways that the literature does not.
 
It may be that this method is not appropriate for literature retrieval in reviews that seek to combine the results of multiple interventions, multiple treatment populations, or multiple disorders. 
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
No other limitations were detected by the reviewers.
Study Type: 
Single study