When searching for literature, it's important to ask yourself: Do you want to do a PRECISE search of the literature or a SENSITIVE search of the literature?
Sensitivity and precision can be calculated using the following formulas:
Sensitivity: # of relevant reports identified / total # of relevant reports in existence
Precision: # of relevant reports identified / total # of reports identified
There's a logic to searching:
This balance is determined by:
Precise search questions:
Sensitive search questions:
Precise search objectives, for example:
Sensitive search objectives, for example:
Now that you've identified the kind of search you want to conduct, think about ways to move your results in either direction until you find the right balance.
Tips to increase sensitivity:
Tips to increase precision:
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