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Table 4 Suggested generic procedure for cluster searching

From: Towards a methodology for cluster searching to provide conceptual and contextual “richness” for systematic reviews of complex interventions: case study (CLUSTER)

Steps to enhance exploration of context
Step Procedure Source(s)
1 Identify at least one key “pearl” citation, agreed through consensus by the review team Preliminary Literature Search of bibliographic databases
2 Check Reference list for any additional relevant citations by the Authors Full text of pearl citations
3 Recheck for additional relevant records by the Authors Reference management database
4 Search for lead author (and other authors as appropriate). Seek to identify Contact email, Publications list, Institutional repository Google
5 Conduct citation searches on key pearl citation (and other publications as appropriate) Web of Science/Google Scholar
6 Conduct searches on project name/identifier (if available) Google Scholar
7 Make contact with Lead Author (particularly regarding related publications, unpublished articles, reports, book chapters etcetera) Personal Web pages
Steps to enhance identification of theory
Step Procedure Source(s)
8 Follow up key pearl citation and other cluster documents for citation of theory Full text of pearl citations
9 Recheck for mentions of Theory in titles, abstracts, keywords Reference management database
10 Optionally, perform iterative searches for theory mentioned in combination with Condition of Interest Original set of bibliographic databases
Steps to broaden the search to other relevant information
Step Procedure Source(s)
11 Follow up key pearl citation and other cluster documents for citations to project antecedents and related projects Full text of pearl citations
12 Conduct named project and citation searches for relevant projects identified from cluster documents Google Scholar/Web of Science
13 Seek cross case comparisons by combining project name/identifier for cluster with project name/identifiers for other relevant projects Original set of bibliographic databases