Systematic Literature Searching in Social Work: A Practical Guide with Database Appraisal: Increasing efficiency in social work literature searching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Context: In response to the growth of evidence-based practice in social work, systematic literature reviews offer significant value to social work but are often met with concerns of time scarcity. Purpose: Through a case study search strategy addressing the research question “What are practicing frontline social workers’ experiences of bureaucracy?” this article seeks to promote efficiency by providing a practical guide for conducting systematic literature searches and an appraisal of database performance in qualitative social work research. Method: The total citations, unique hits, sensitivity and precision for each database was calculated before conducting a cross-study comparison with three previously published social work systematic searches to identify emerging performance trends. Results/Conclusion: Relying on a single database is subject to bias and will not provide comprehensive or sensitive findings, however, due to consistently high performance across four systematic searches, ASSIA, SSA and SSCI are recommended for future literature searching in social work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • evidence based practice
  • databases
  • bibliographic
  • Social work
  • systematic literature searching

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