Pearl Harvesting Wiki Brief Instructions

Large and very large search filters are presented in this Wiki for anyone to use.

Search filters are collections of topic identifying words, phrases and acronyms,.

The Pearl Harvesting large search filters have been derived from multiple topic related sources.

Once developed a search filter can be used by anyone therefore making it easier than having people recreate their own every time.

These filters are meant to be used in a comprehensive search using a search function such as ALL Fields in MEDLINE or EVERYWHERE in PsycINFO or ERIC.

To use a Pearl Harvested filter click on the left side of the home page (List of search filters).
A list of topics will be presented, organized around the PICOS structure (Population, Intervention or Predicator Variables), Control group (seldom used) and desgisn of study.

Click on a topic of interest

Read the notes on the page where the large search is located

Copy the search filter, making sure to copy every character. Characters can easily be lost when copying therefore making an error in the search.

Not every search term may be necessary so it is easy to delete the ones not required.

Note for very large search filters it may be advisable to only use the most general terms and not use every specific term. This is especially true when using Google Scholar as it only accepts 32 terms.

Very large search filters might not work in the Advanced Search of PsycINFO and ERIC. In that case one has to use the command line. Each filter is entered by using ALL(search filter 1) AND AL(search filter 2) etc.

Open a database, such as MEDLINE, PsycIONO or ERIC

Copy the search terms of filter into one search box.

Repeat with other search filters, copying and pasting each one into a subsequent search box.
For example Search filter AND search filter 2 etc.

It may seem on the surface that this will not yield precise searchers.
However, precision is dealt with in a number of ways.
  1. 1. the search question should be well defined.
  2. 2. Double quotations are used around phrases
  3. 3. Detailed search terms can be used rather than general terms, e.g., rather than use the term review, use “systematic review” OR “quantitative review” OR “realist review” etc.
  4. 4. Using multiple search filters will produce greater precision rather than using just one or two search filters.
  5. 5. If the number of citations is high then it is likely that there have been systematic reviews done on the topic, so include an extra filter using the one provided here for systematic reviews.

There are also published studies on the Pearl Harvesting approach which are linked from the home page at the bottom left.