Searching for evidence or approval? A commentary on database search in systematic reviews and alternative information retrieval methodologies.

TitleSearching for evidence or approval? A commentary on database search in systematic reviews and alternative information retrieval methodologies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDelaney A, Tamás PA
JournalResearch synthesis methods
Volume9
Issue1
Pagination124-131
Date Published2018 Mar
ISSN1759-2887
KeywordsDatabases, Bibliographic; Evidence-Based Medicine; Humans; Information Storage and Retrieval; Models, Statistical; Qualitative Research; Review Literature as Topic; Risk; Search Engine; Statistics as Topic
AbstractDespite recognition that database search alone is inadequate even within the health sciences, it appears that reviewers in fields that have adopted systematic review are choosing to rely primarily, or only, on database search for information retrieval. This commentary reminds readers of factors that call into question the appropriateness of default reliance on database searches particularly as systematic review is adapted for use in new and lower consensus fields. It then discusses alternative methods for information retrieval that require development, formalisation, and evaluation. Our goals are to encourage reviewers to reflect critically and transparently on their choice of information retrieval methods and to encourage investment in research on alternatives.
DOI10.1002/jrsm.1282
Alternate JournalRes Synth Methods