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Did you ask for help with database selection and search strategies from a librarian?

I noticed that only one source was searched, Google Scholar (section 2.1 of the preprint). For a systematic review, Google Scholar is problematic, especially if it is the only source searched. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27076802.

I wonder if you asked for help from a librarian with training in systematic review searching or if sources like Cochrane handbooks were consulted for help in database selection and search strategy development.

See for example: Chapter 7 http://methods.cochrane.org/sdt/handbook-dta-reviews I think might be relevant for your work: http://methods.cochrane.org/sites/methods.cochrane.org.sdt/files/public/uploads/Chapter07-Searching-%28September-2008%29.pdf

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Thank you for your question! We primarily used Google Scholar, which is quite complete for this field - possibly more complete than Web of Science or many other academic search engines. We supplemented our literature review by thoroughly searching the reference lists of the studies we found with Google Scholar. Despite this, it is possible that there are studies out there that include the data we are looking for that we missed, as could be the case with any literature review. We do not think there would be any bias in our inclusion or accidental omission of studies, however, so our findings should still be robust.

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1) this is just not true, that Google Scholar is : "...possibly more complete than Web of Science or many other academic search engines." 2) No mention was made of the article I cited about the problems with Google/Google scholar. This reply is disheartening. No mention in the answer was made either of the Cochrane methods book I cited, nor was my question about including a librarian's expertise mentioned.

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This just in....https://systematicreviewsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13643-017-0625-1

A comparison of results of empirical studies of supplementary search techniques and recommendations in review methodology handbooks: a methodological review

Chris CooperEmail authorView ORCID ID profile, Andrew Booth, Nicky Britten and Ruth Garside

Systematic Reviews20176:234

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-017-0625-1

© The Author(s). 2017

Received: 6 June 2017

Accepted: 10 November 2017

Published: 28 November 2017

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