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    Reference-based search strategies in systematic reviews

    13th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)

    Durham University, UK, 20 - 21 April 2009


    Mats Skoglund and Per Runeson


    In systematic reviews, the number of articles found by search strings tend to be very large. In order to limit the number of articles to handle manually, we investigate a search strategy based on references between papers. We first identify a "take-off paper" which is the starting point for the search and then we follow the references from that paper. We also investigate "cardinal papers", i.e. papers that are referenced by many authors, and let the references to those papers guide the selection in the systematic review. We evaluate the search strategies on three published systematic reviews. The results vary greatly between the three studied systematic reviews, from 88% reduction to 92% extension of the original paper set.


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