searching the body of knowledge

A collection of papers discussing rigorous search review techniques.

Searching the Body of Knowledge

Avcollection of papers discussing rigorous search review techniques


Systematic review of Literature Reviews

How do you know what information is out there? How to access it? How do you evaluate relevance and quality of sources? In this section we compare and contrast all different types of literature reviews: traditional, systematic, scoping etc…


Social media Bubbles

Social media has paved a new way for extremism and dangerous information to spread. In this section we discuss methods of finding filters and bottle necks within social networks, and how to overcome them.

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Comparing results from search engines

Some popular search engines such as google and yahoo keep a comprehensive record of the user’s search history. In this section we contrast such sites against anonymous search engines, such as duck duck go, which protect user’s privacy and mathematically analyse differences in search results for identical searches. Are multiple search engines required for a comprehensive literature search? 

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Other Topics COvered

Restricted access

Many papers are published by journals which require payment to be accessed. Other sources such as unpublished papers, items on the dark web, and even the information in people's brains can be extremely difficult to access. We discuss how to maximize the reach of our initial scoping searches.

Multilingual sources

Sources written in unreadable languages - or technical jargons - are necessarily excluded but may be useful. How to we detect useful sources in other languages?

Synonyms and key-words

Underestimating the effect of specific terms on our searches can strongly skew our findings. A specific term used to refer to a concept in physics might correspond to an entirely different term in a mathematical one. Determining key-words and associated search terms around your subject is crucial when designing systematic searches.

Accademic bubbles via citation tree analysis

Research fellows and lecturers who work closely together often draw connections to each other's work through citations. Because of this, academics often find themselves within a community in their given field. Citation trees can show this through densely populated sub-graphs. This leads to community bias and excluded external sources.

Quality assurance methods

Anyone can provide information. When can we be assured that the conclusions we read are based on real-world evidence?

When searching systematically we need to question the validity, relevance and reliability of each source. Is the author a respected professional in a field - and the writing limited to that field - or an emotionally involved poster on yahoo answers? When do professionals lose their objectivity? How do historical factors impact a source's current, modern-day applicability? Analyzing each source can be extremely time consuming; can we develop a more efficient scanning process?

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