A structured approach to documenting a search strategy for publication: A 12 step guideline for authors

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 2012, 32 (8), pp. 878 - 886
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Aim: This paper describes a structured approach for documenting a search strategy, prior to the scholarly critique and review of the retrieved literature. Background and context: There has been a shift in publication expectations when it comes to the presentation of a literature review, from the more traditional narrative review to a more systematic approach, following a specific framework. Methods: This paper presents a 12 step framework for documenting the search strategy prior to undertaking a critique and synthesis of the retrieved literature. The authors provide a worked example about potential sources of cross contamination including hospital bath basins and soap and water bathing. Discussion: An overview of the 12 step framework is presented. This includes step-by-step instructions on how to conduct and write a search strategy for a literature review. A number of resources available for creating reviews and critiquing reviews are referenced, but these are not exclusive. Conclusion: Reviews can be an important and valuable contribution when undertaken well, providing the reader with evidence of a clear structure. This paper provides a 12 step framework that will be of benefit to students, educationalists, and researchers required to embark on a review. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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