CrynodebAims and objectives.
For a particular randomised controlled trial, it is often useful to retrieve associated siblings - qualitative research, process and economic evaluations done alongside the randomised controlled trial (RCT). This thesis examines both the effectiveness and efficiency of search strategies, and the productivity of different databases, in retrieving sibling studies for an RCT.
Five seed studies from different clinical areas were selected. A range of Boolean searches with simple subject term combinations with authors’ names, together with citation and similarity search strategies, were applied, on different databases that had different subject coverage and interests. Specialised search filters were combined with the simple search strategy and tested. The retrieval performances of the simple and sophisticated search strategies on PubMed were tested and compared using one of the seed studies as a case study. Recall, precision and odds estimators were used for all retrieval tests. Non-parametric statistical tests were used to test a set of hypotheses that set out to explore relationships underlying retrieval performance.
Neither one particular search strategy nor one database was an overall winner. The simple author-subject search provided a good recall with a readable retrieval size. The recall varied among seed studies and different databases. Search filters provided good recall for retrieving specific types of sibling, especially the qualitative filter. PubMed related articles strategy provided a good performance for some seeds, but not as good overall as the simple author-subject searching. Combining a similarity search with simple author-subject search provided complementary retrieval performance and therefore yields an optimal performance. Citing search did not perform well in terms of retrieving sibling studies. The simple author-subject search shows performance consistency, being the best search strategy among other strategies for all seed studies in terms of recall and precision. WoK and SCOPUS were the best databases for retrieving sibling studies.
Simple author-subject search, especially when searching multiple databases, can yield an optimal performance in retrieving sibling studies.
|Dyddiad Dyfarnu||29 Ebr 2013|
|Noddwyr||THE UNIVERSITY OF JORDAN|
|Goruchwyliwr||Christine Urquhart (Goruchwylydd) & Pauline Rafferty (Goruchwylydd)|