ERIC Number: ED266802
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
Influences on the Outcome of Literature Searches for Integrative Research Reviews.
Cooper, Harris; Ribble, Ronald
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 topic area (related or not related to their expertise), amount of information, and whether the document was relevant or irrelevant to the search. Results revealed no difference between experts and nonexperts in their 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 bibliographics, 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 cognitive complexity or tolerance of ambiguity. Data are also presented on how the independent variables related to confidence in relevance judgments, familiarity with the literature, and general beliefs about topic areas. Results are discussed in regard to prevailing beliefs about the literature search process and how the process might be improved. (Author/THC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Missouri Univ., Columbia. Center for Research in Social Behavior.