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Title: Improving literature searching in systematic reviews : the application of tailored literature searching compared to 'the conventional approach'
Author: Cooper, C.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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Background Literature searching is acknowledged as a crucial step in a systematic review. Information professionals, in response to the needs of intervention effectiveness systematic reviews, have developed a systematic process of literature searching which aims to be comprehensive, transparent and reproducible, and to minimise the introduction of bias in systematic reviews. The process which has evolved has not been examined in detail before but it has been adopted as the principal approach to literature searching in other types of systematic review. It is not clear if this is appropriate and if an alternative approach might be more effective. Thesis aims The aims of this thesis are to: 1) examine approaches to systematic literature searching for systematic reviews; and 2) propose and test a method of systematic literature searching for reviews which do not focus on the effectiveness of clinical interventions. Methods Two literature reviews, one systematic review and two comparative case studies were undertaken to meet the aims of the thesis. Results A critical literature review identified and described a conventional approach to literature searching common to nine leading handbooks of systematic review. An alternative, tailored approach to literature searching was developed. Two case studies illustrated that the tailored approach was more effective, and potentially offered better value, than the conventional approach. Conclusions Information professionals can develop tailored literature search approaches for use in systematic reviews and as a useful alternative to the conventional approach, particularly for reviews including study designs beyond controlled trials. The role of the information professional as decision maker, the involvement of the research team and experts, preparing for literature searching and the use of supplementary search methods, are important to the success of tailored literature search approaches.
Supervisor: Garside, R. ; Britten, N. ; Booth, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available