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Table 3 Utility of search sources in identifying relevant studies

From: The selection of search sources influences the findings of a systematic review of people’s views: a case study in public health

Search source Records retrieved from search Studies included from that source (% precision) Studies included that were unique to that source
Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA) 625 3 (0.48%) 1
Author contact (n ≥ 50) n/a (12) 2 2
Bibliomap (EPPI-Centre health promotion research register) 16 1 (6.25%)  
British Education Index 61 1 (1.64%)  
British Library Integrated Catalogue n/a (9)   
Child data 561 2 (0.36%) 2
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) 1703 2 (0.11%)  
Dissertation Abstracts 451 1 (0.22%) 1
Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) 468 1 (0.21%) 1
Forward citation checking (Web of Knowledge) 88 1 (1.14%)  
Google 100* 2  
Google Scholar 300*   
HealthPromis (UK Health Development Agency research register) 235 2 (0.85%)  
Index of British Theses n/a (16) 2 2
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) 402 5 (1.24%) 1
Journal hand searching (3 journals) n/a (13)   
Previous EPPI-Centre review [24] n/a (13) 2 2
PsycINFO 1691 7 (0.41%)  
Pubmed 3697 8 (0.22%) 2
Reference checking of included studies n/a (20) 1 1
Scirus (scientific research search engine) 200* 1 1
Social Care Online 150 1 (0.67%)  
Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) 1915 7 (0.37%)  
Website hand searches of 16 sites n/a (8) 2 1
Zetoc (British Library’s electronic table of contents) n/a (12)   
TOTAL 12766 54 studies** 17
studies**
  1. n/a = screening was offline and a complete record of total items retrieved and screened is not available.
  2. *The quantity screened from a larger list of search results, therefore precision is not calculated.
  3. **54 studies from 61 research records, which following removal of duplicates were 28 studies of which 17 studies were unique to one source.