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Postgraduate library information and digital skills: Documenting searches and referencing

Mae’r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

Documenting your search methodology

Documenting your search methodology is an important part of your research. This section can vary in length and detail but it will normally do the following:

Record your search strategy

Record the databases searched

Record any limits applied to your searches

Record numbers of results and number discarded and why

Record any websites searched

Record any journals searched & how (e.g. hand-searching or scanning tables of contents)

Record the date each search activity was done.

Two good examples can be seen here:

Look at the methods section in this article 

Franke, H., Franke, J. D., & Fryer, G. (2014). Osteopathic manipulative treatment for nonspecific low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders15(1), Article 286.

Look at the Table 1 for a fully documented search strategy

Documenting your search using PRISMA

PRISMA is a flow chart tool used to document searches for systematic reviews and meta-analyses.