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Search Strategy Formulation for Systematic Reviews: issues, challenges and opportunities

MacFarlane, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-8057-0737, Russell-Rose, T. & Shokraneh, F. (2022). Search Strategy Formulation for Systematic Reviews: issues, challenges and opportunities. Intelligent Systems with Applications,


Systematic literature reviews play a vital role in identifying the best available evidence for health and social care policy. The resources required to produce systematic reviews can be significant, and a key to the success of any review is the search strategy used to identify relevant literature. However, the methods used to construct search strategies can be complex, time consuming, resource intensive and error prone. In this review, we examine the state of the art in resolving complex structured information needs, focusing primarily on the healthcare context. We analyse the literature to identify key challenges and issues and explore appropriate solutions and workarounds. From this analysis we propose a way forward to facilitate trust and to aid explainability and transparency, reproducibility and replicability through a set of key design principles for tools to support the development of search strategies in systematic literature reviews.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022. This article has been accepted for publication in Intelligent Systems with Applications by Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Computer Science
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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