Reading: Systematic reviews: significance of search strategy


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Systematic reviews: significance of search strategy


P. A. S. H. Perera

University of Peradeniya, LK
About P. A. S. H.
Senior Assistant Librarian
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Systematic reviews are yet to evolve in Sri Lanka despite its widespread use in developed countries. A systematic review (SR) is a literature review which aims to address a specific research question and follow scientific methodology with a pre-defined protocol. It is conducted by a team of reviewers. In most of the developed countries where evidence-based practice is desired, findings of SRs have been used as an aid for developing policy and guidelines in social sciences and healthcare. The procedure of SRs is a set of scientific methods; systematic, comprehensive and rigorous. Searching for ALL relevant literature for inclusion in a SR is an integral part of the procedure which requires expertise and skills in information retrieval. With recent advances in standards, guidelines and methodology of SRs, the construction of search strategy to locate all relevant literature/studies has become a challenging task for review authors. Need for support from information specialist has been recognized in this exercise, thus creating a significant role for library professionals to play in the search process of systematic reviews. The aim of this article is to provide the local LIS community with an introduction to SRs and to discuss briefly the significance of the search strategy in locating the studies in a SR process.
How to Cite: Perera, P.A.S.H., 2017. Systematic reviews: significance of search strategy. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, 20(1), pp.58–72. DOI:
Published on 27 Jan 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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