Pearl Harvesting Comprehensive Search Filtersfor searching research literature

created byDr. Robert Sandieson,
Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
email: sandie@uwo.ca
Brief Instructions on how to use this wiki

Campbell Collaboration Workshop on Pearl Harvesting, Belfast, Ireland, June 2017

  • The Premise:
Information retrieval is an act of communication between the information seeker, author(s), and database indexer(s).
  • Searching, then, is a linguistic task
  • Two linguistic properties apply to developing comprehensive searches without compromising precision
  • 1. Co-reference
    • one topic can be represented by more than one term; often many terms
    • e.g., research synthesis, systematic review, literature review
    • applied to searching - using more terms in a search can retrieve more information
  • 2. Polysemy
    • a single term can have many specific meanings
    • e.g., “review” is a polysemic term
    • polysemic terms are low in search precision
    • they can be converted to phrases with more precise meanings with more precise searches
    • e.g., review => “systematic review” OR “quantitative review” OR ”qualitative review”

  • Lists of co-referenced terms, i.e., comprehensive search filters, can be copied and pasted into the search fields of databases.
  • The list of comprehensive search filters presented here have been developed by those working with the Pearl Harvesting Theory but also include search filters developed by others.

IMPACT: Pearl Harvesting comprehensive search filters are used internationally - as reported by: 31 organizations and universities, 21 graduate theses,12 published systematic review protocols, and 19 journal articles/books/conference presentations. This wiki has been viewed by over 25,000 people from over 50 countries.