ERIC Number: EJ1109048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Information Retrieval for Ecological Syntheses
Bayliss, Helen R.; Beyer, Fiona R.
Research Synthesis Methods, v6 n2 p136-148 Jun 2015
Research syntheses are increasingly being conducted within the fields of ecology and environmental management. Information retrieval is crucial in any synthesis in identifying data for inclusion whilst potentially reducing biases in the dataset gathered, yet the nature of ecological information provides several challenges when compared with medicine that should be considered when planning and undertaking searches. We present ten recommendations for anyone considering undertaking information retrieval for ecological research syntheses that highlight the main differences with medicine and, if adopted, may help reduce biases in the dataset retrieved, increase search efficiency and improve reporting standards. They are as follows: (1) plan for information retrieval at an early stage, (2) identify and use sources of help, (3) clearly define the question to be addressed, (4) ensure that provisions for managing, recording and reporting the search are in place, (5) select an appropriate search type, (6) identify sources to be used, (7) identify limitations of the sources, (8) ensure that the search vocabulary is appropriate, (9) identify limits and filters that can help direct the search, and (10) test the strategy to ensure that it is realistic and manageable. These recommendations may be of value for other disciplines where search infrastructures are not yet sufficiently well developed.
Descriptors: Ecology, Conservation (Environment), Information Retrieval, Research Methodology, Bias, Meta Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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