In conducting a systematic review, it is important that you search widely through published and unpublished research, to find all information available on a particular topic.This usually includes searching sources such as:
The databases you choose to search will depend on the topic of your systematic review. It is important to search a range of multidisciplinary and subject specific databases.
You can access a wide variety of databases via the Database A-Z linked from the Primo homepage.
There are guides and tutorials on how to use each database here.
You can create personal accounts on most database provider website which will allow you to save searches, mark papers to return to and to set up alerts when new items are added to the database on your research topic.
It will depend on the purpose and scope of the review whether or not to include grey literature in your search, however, there are a number of reasons why it may be important to include in your review:
For more information see the Using grey literature guide.
"Handsearching involves a manual page-by-page examination of the entire contents of a journal issue or conference proceedings to identify all eligible reports of trials. In journals, reports of trials may appear in articles, abstracts, news columns, editorial, letters or other text" (Cochrane Handbook, 188.8.131.52)
Why is handsearching important?
For the trials that are reported, they may not be easily identified as trials due to indexing issues associated with some databases
Note: Conference proceedings are important to hand search because individual conference papers are rarely indexed.
For more information, refer to: