Influences on the Outcome of Literature Searches for Integrative Research Reviews
Three influences on the outcomes of literature searches undertaken as part of integrative research reviews were examined: (1) the degree of expertise of the searcher; (2) the amount of information available (i.e., keywords, bibliographics, abstracts), and (3) the cognitive characteristics of the searcher. Participants were presented with descriptions of documents varying in (1) topic area (related or not related to their expertise), (2) amount of information, and (3) whether the document was relevant or irrelevant to the search. Results revealed no difference between experts and nonexperts in accuracy of judging relevant documents, but experts were better able to discern that irrelevant documents were in fact irrelevant. Judgments based on abstracts were more accurate than judgments based on keywords or bibliographrcs, which did not differ, and this effect was more pronounced for relevant than irrelevant articles. Participants who had previously conducted more literature searches or published more research reviews made more accurate judgments, as did searchers high in conceptual complexity or tolerance of ambiguity. © 1989, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
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