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Search wide, dig deep : literature searching for qualitative research : an analysis of the publication formats and information sources used for four systematic reviews in public health

Stansfield, Claire and Brunton, Ginny and Rees, Rebecca (2013) Search wide, dig deep : literature searching for qualitative research : an analysis of the publication formats and information sources used for four systematic reviews in public health. Research Synthesis Methods. ISSN 1759-2879. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

Abstract Background When literature searching for systematic review, it is good practice to search widely across different information sources. Little is known about the contributions of different publication formats (e.g. journal article, book chapter) and sources, especially for studies of people’s views. Method Studies from four reviews spanning three public health areas (active transport, motherhood and obesity), were analysed in terms of publication formats and the information sources they were identified from. They comprised of 229 studies exploring people’s perceptions,beliefs and experiences (‘views studies’) and were largely qualitative. Results While most (61%) research was published within journals, nearly a third (29%) of research was published as research reports, and 5% was published in books. The remainder consisted of theses, conference papers and raw datasets. Two-thirds of studies (66%) were located in a total of 19 bibliographic databases, and 15 databases provided studies that were not identified elsewhere. PubMed was a good source for all reviews. Supplementary information sources were important for identifying studies in all publication formats. Conclusions Undertaking sensitive searches across a range of information sources is essential for locating views studies in all publication formats. We discuss some benefits and challenges of utilising different information sources.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: Systematic review, Library and Information Sciences
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Social Science Research Unit
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 12:25
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:06
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