Systematic Searching

Jan 2019 | 352pp

Price: £69.95
CILIP members price: £55.95

eBook (PDF)
How to buy eBooks turqoise_arrow

Share this page

Join our mailing list

Systematic Searching
Practical ideas for improving results

Edited by Paul Levay and Jenny Craven

In resource poor, cost saving times, this book advises information professionals on how to search more efficiently.

The book brings together expert international practitioners and researchers to highlight the latest thinking on systematic searching. Beginning by looking at the role of the information specialist as an expert searcher, the book then examines the current challenges and the potential solutions to more effective searching in detail. Systematic Searching: Practical ideas for improving results​ blends theory and practice and takes into account several different approaches to information retrieval and information-seeking behaviour with special focus being given to searching for complex topics in a health-related environment. The book does not presume an in-depth prior knowledge or experience of systematic searching and includes case studies, practical examples and ideas for further research and reading to ensure the book is accessible to all.

The book is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1: Methods covers theoretical models of information seeking and also systematic searching practice, including search filters and controlled vocabularies
  • Part 2: Technology covers new technologies for retrieving evidence such as social media and the semantic web, as well as using text mining to support the development of search strategies
  • Part 3: People considers the future of the information specialist as an expert searcher and explores how information professionals could develop their skills and find new roles.

Readership: The book will be essential reading for library and information service providers and information specialists, particularly those in a health-related environment. It will also be of interest to students of library and information science, practitioners conducting complex searches in settings including social care, education and criminal justice, systematic reviewers and researchers. 

Figures, tables and case studies

Foreword – Carol Lefebvre
1. Introduction: where are we now? – Paul Levay and Jenny Craven
2. Innovative approaches to systematic reviewing – Andrew Booth
3. Searching for broad-based topics – Claire Stansfield
4. Choosing the right databases and search techniques – Alison Bethal and Morwenna Rogers
5. Gathering evidence from grey literature and unpublished data – Shannon Kugley and Richard Epstein
6. Social media as a source of evidence – Su Golder
7. Text mining for information specialists – Julie Glanville
8. Using linked data for evidence synthesis – Andy Mitchell and Chris Mavergames
9. Evidence surveillance to keep up to date with new research – James Thomas, Anna Noel-Storr and Steve McDonald
10. Training the next generation of information specialists – Michelle Maden and Gil Young
11. Collaborative working to improve searching – Siw Waffenschmidt and Elke Hausner
12. Communication for information specialists – Margaret Sampson
13. The information specialist as an expert searcher – Alison Brettle
14. Conclusion: where do we go from here? – Paul Levay and Jenny Craven


‘This book certainly fulfils the editors’ purpose and aim. It marks the stage that this field has reached, and each chapter offers tantalising ideas about the future. I can wholeheartedly recommend this readable and excellent book for novices and veterans of systematic searches.’
— Eli Harriss, Knowledge Centre Manager and Outreach Librarian, Bodleian Health Care Libraries, CILIP Health Libraries Group newsletter​

Paul Levay is an Information Specialist at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). His research interests are in developing search methods to support Health Technology Assessments and public health guidelines. He has previously held posts at the National Police Library and the Greater London Authority. Paul is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Jenny Craven is an Information Specialist at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Previously, Jenny worked at the Centre for Research in Library and Information Management (CERLIM) at Manchester Metropolitan University; she worked on practical information related projects, with a particular focus on improving access to information for people with visual impairments. During this time she was on the standing committee of the IFLA libraries serving persons with disabilities group, and ran a series of workshops in developing countries for the FORCE Foundation charity on providing accessible library services. Her role at NICE involves supporting the information needs for a variety of programmes across NICE. She also works on internal projects to improve service delivery, the evaluation of information skills training, and to explore methods for the effective retrieval of information. She is the editor of two previous Facet Publishing books, Web Accessibility: Practical advice for the library and information professional (2008) and Access, Delivery, Performance: The future of libraries without walls (2009).

More titles in this category >>