Our previous work identified that nine leading guidance documents for seven different types of systematic review advocated the same process of literature searching. We defined and illustrated this process and we named it ?the Conventional Approach?. The Conventional Approach appears to meet the needs of researchers undertaking literature searches for systematic reviews of clinical interventions. In this article, we report a new and alternate process model of literature searching called ?A Tailored Approach?. A Tailored Approach is indicated as a search process for complex reviews which do not focus on the evaluation of clinical interventions. The aims of this article are to (1) explain the rationale for, and the theories behind, the design of A Tailored Approach; (2) report the current conceptual illustration of A Tailored Approach and to describe a user?s interaction with the process model; and (3) situate the elements novel to A Tailored Approach (when compared with the Conventional Approach) in the relevant literature. A Tailored Approach suggests investing time at the start of a review, to develop the information needs from the research objectives, and to tailor the search approach to studies or data. Tailored Approaches should be led by the information specialist (librarian) but developed by the research team. The aim is not necessarily to focus on comprehensive retrieval. Further research is indicated to evaluate the use of supplementary search methods, methods of team-working to define search approaches, and to evaluate the use of conceptual models of information retrieval for testing and evaluation.



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Journal of Information Science

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Peninsula Medical School