searching the body of knowledge

A collection 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: tradition, systematic, scoping etc…


Social media Bubbles

Social media has paved a new way for extremism and dangerous information to spread around the public eye. In this section we discuss methods of determining ‘bottle necks’ within social bubbles, and efficient ways to combat such threats.

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Comparing results from different search engines

Certain 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 compreshensive literature search? 

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Other Topics COvered

Restricted access

Many papers are published under 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 Other sources such as unpublished papers, items on the dark web, and even the information in people's brains can be extremely difficult to access.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 & translatable sources

Only considering sources written in a single specific language excludes a vast amount of potentially useful sources. However, how to we detect useful sources which are not written in our mother-tongue?

Synonyms and key-words

Synonyms can pose a great issue when conducting systematic searches. A specific search term within a physics context might be called something entirely different within a mathematical context. Therefore determining key-words and associated search terms around your subject is crucial when contemplating a systematic search.

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 issues involving community bias and external information being excluded.

Quality assurance methods

Everyone has the ability to provide information. When conducting a systematic search we need to question the validity, relevance and reliability of each source. Is the author a high-up, respected professional within his field or just some uneducated slob posting some ludicrous view on yahoo answers? Are historical factors impacting a source's current, modern-day applicability? Was a study sponsored by a company that wanted a certain result ('9 out of 10 dentists agree!') These all must be taken into great consideration, but analyzing each source chronologically can be extremely time consuming. Can we develop a more efficient scanning process?

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