Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Google Scholar as replacement for systematic literature searches: good relative recall and precision are not enough

Martin Boeker*, Werner Vach and Edith Motschall

Author Affiliations

Department of Medical Biometry and Medical Informatics, University Medical Center Freiburg, Stefan-Meier-Str. 26, Freiburg i. Br. 79104, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013, 13:131  doi:10.1186/1471-2288-13-131

Published: 26 October 2013

Additional files

Additional file 1:

List of included studies, original MEDLINE search strategy and derived Google Scholar search strategy for each Cochrane review. For each Cochrane review the included studies and the original search strategy were extracted to this file. The Google Scholar search expression was used with Google Scholar as provided. In the list of included studies the references which were found with the Google Scholar search expression were marked with an “(X)”. References which were used in more than one study included were marked only once. Results were counted according to this data. Length of search expressions were measured from the given search expressions.

Format: PDF Size: 871KB Download file

This file can be viewed with: Adobe Acrobat Reader

Open Data

Additional file 2:

Detailed information on the original precision of the searches for the Cochrane reviews. Data retrieved from the Cochrane reviews. Presented are: Number of databases searched and type of additional resources, number of references found with or without doublets where available, number of references included in the Cochrane review, and the calculated precision from the former. If a reference was cited for more than one study it was counted only once in the column “references included”.

Format: PDF Size: 44KB Download file

This file can be viewed with: Adobe Acrobat Reader

Open Data