Answered By: DLS Admin
Last Updated: Nov 27, 2020     Views: 14

Google Scholar, Google Advanced Search, or Google generally, might be appropriate to use depending on the requirements of the systematic review. Google provides a breadth of coverage, however Google does not publishes its reasoning behind what it includes, why it includes it and the ranking of its materials. A systematic review requires a high level of transparency. Therefore, it is important to balance the risk of using materials from Google in a systematic review.

It is important to recognise the limitations of Google:

  • There is no content coverage list for Google Scholar - there is no "content coverage list" to clearly indicate what is included (and what is not included) in any search made.
  • Content can be added, but is also removed, without any notice
  • Not all content is indexed to the same standard: Publishers often will allow web crawlers from Google to index the full-text of their content. But not all sources do, which can mean some publications will appear, or be ranked, differently, dependent upon how they are indexed by Google.
  • You can't actually view all of your results: It is not uncommon for Google to return searches in there millions. However, no matter how many results you return, Google will never let you see or download more than the first 1,000 results