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Will Web Search Engines Replace Bibliographic Databases in the Systematic Identification of Research?

Bates, Jessica, Best, Paul, McQuilkin, Janice and Taylor, Brian (2017) Will Web Search Engines Replace Bibliographic Databases in the Systematic Identification of Research? Journal of Academic Librarianship, 43 (1). pp. 8-17. [Journal article]

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2016.11.003

DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2016.11.003

Abstract

The availability of web search engines offers opportunities in addition to those provided by bibliographic databasesfor identifying academic literature, but their usefulness for retrieving research is uncertain. A rigorous literaturesearch was undertaken to investigate whether web search engines might replace bibliographicdatabases, using empirical research in health and social care as a case study. Eight databases and five web searchengines were searched between 20 July and 6 August 2015. Sixteen unique studies which compared at least onedatabase with at least one web search engine were examined, as well as drawing lessons from the authors’ ownsearch process. Web search engines were limited in that the searcher cannot be certain that the principles ofBoolean logic apply and they were more limited than bibliographic databases in their functions, such as exportingabstracts. Recommendations are made for improving the rigour and quality of reporting studies of academic literaturesearching.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Academic librarianship, Bibliographic databases, Google Scholar, Health research, Literature searching, Social care research, Systematic searching, Web search engines
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Education
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:36604
Deposited By: Dr Jessica Bates
Deposited On:05 Jan 2017 16:22
Last Modified:21 Feb 2017 10:38

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