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Systematic Reviews: Where to search

A Synthesis and Evaluation of existing evidence

understanding the structure of scholarly databases

Scholarly databases are structured digital repositories that organize and store scholarly literature, such as journal articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, books, and other academic materials. The structure of scholarly databases typically includes several key components:

  1. Metadata: Metadata provides descriptive information about each item in the database, allowing users to search, identify, and retrieve relevant content. Common metadata fields include:

    • Title: The title of the document.
    • Author(s): The author(s) or creator(s) of the document.
    • Publication Date: The date when the document was published or made available.
    • Abstract: A summary or brief description of the document's content.
    • Keywords: Terms or phrases that describe the main topics or themes of the document.
    • Journal/Conference/Book Title: The title of the publication or conference where the document was published.
    • DOI (Digital Object Identifier): A unique alphanumeric identifier assigned to the document to provide a persistent link to its location.
  2. Document Content: Scholarly databases typically store the full text or a substantial portion of the content for each item in the database. This allows users to access and read the complete document directly within the database interface.

  3. Indexing and Searchability: Scholarly databases employ indexing techniques to facilitate efficient searching and retrieval of content. Indexes are created for various metadata fields, enabling users to search for documents by title, author, keywords, publication date, and other criteria. Search functionality may also include advanced features such as Boolean operators, truncation, phrase searching, and faceted search options.

  4. Classification and Taxonomies: Scholarly databases often use classification schemes or taxonomies to categorize content into subject areas, disciplines, or topics. This helps users browse and explore content within specific domains of interest and may include hierarchical classifications, controlled vocabularies, or subject headings.

  5. Access Controls and Licensing: Scholarly databases may implement access controls and licensing agreements to regulate access to content. Access may be restricted based on subscription models, institutional affiliations, or licensing agreements with publishers. Open access databases provide unrestricted access to content, while others may require users to log in or pay subscription fees to access certain materials.

  6. Overall, the structure of scholarly databases is designed to support efficient discovery, retrieval, and management of scholarly literature, providing researchers with access to a wealth of academic resources across various disciplines and subject areas.

  7. Citation and Bibliographic Data: Scholarly databases track citation data, including references cited within documents and citations to the documents themselves. Citation data is often used for citation analysis, bibliometric studies, and measuring the impact and influence of scholarly works.

  8. Additional Features and Functionality: Depending on the database platform and provider, scholarly databases may offer additional features and functionality, such as:

    • Advanced search options
    • Citation management tools
    • Alerting services for new publications
    • Usage statistics and analytics
    • Integration with reference management software
    • Collaboration and sharing features