Suitable for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses? The Capacity of 23 Academic Search Engines
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Academy of Management Conference 2019
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
In synthesis research?such as systematic literature reviews or meta-analyses?rigour in the data se-lection process is essential as the selected sample determines a study?s outcome, validity, and ex-planatory power. Hence, research needs to dedicate particular attention to how the sample of rele-vant studies is identified and retrieved. This is especially necessary as the systems with which scholars search for information all allow searches with varying precision, recall and reliability. Nevertheless, it remains unclear which search systems are in fact adequate for synthesis research and on which grounds. This research investigates the systematic search qualities of 23 widely used academic search en-gines and databases testing how effectively and efficiently the user is able to interact with the sys-tem. The results of these tests show whether search systems can effectively and efficiently perform user queries with high precision, recall and reliability. We found substantial differences in the per-formance of search systems making them utilizable in synthesis research to varying degrees. Our study is highly relevant as it shows that fewer than one in four search systems can be recommended without limitations. In contrast, almost 40% of the search systems investigated were found to be unsuitable for systematic literature reviews or meta-analyses. Researchers must be aware of the limitations of their chosen search system. In times of ever-more important synthesis research this investigation is urgently needed to educate researchers on the differences in the systematic search capabilities of the most utilized search systems.