Table 3

 Searching and analysis practices reported in order of frequency of use

Searching practicesSearching practices continuedAnalysis practicesAnalysis practices continued
Search strings or terms listedNotes more documents returned from some companies than othersAuthors stated they kept “relevant” documentsQuantitative techniques used
Searching by topic or keywordDate range of documents returned listedAbstracting or summarisingCoders were trained
Number of documents found listedSearching labelled “exhaustive”Selection criteria describedAnalysis labelled “qualitative”
Describes use of snowballingSearching by titleDocuments ordered chronologicallyAnalysis labelled “mixed methods”
Searching for people or namesSearching labelled “systematic”Documents coded or indexedAuthors described considering quality of document information in analysis
Dates of search listedSearching for projects or accountsSpecific analysis methods named (e.g. case study methods, content analysis)Analysis labelled “analytical”
Searching for organisations committees or companiesSearching labelled “normative”More than one coder usedAuthors described interpreting the documents against other material
Search terms combinedPhysical searching in depositoriesThemes identifiedAuthors described emphasising documents for which a context was available
Searching by datesSearching by request for production codesDocuments coded inductivelyAuthors described emphasising repeated rather than single instances
Overall search strategy describedSearching by document typeAnalysis labelled “narrative”Analysis labelled “historical”
Explains why search strategy usedUses optical character recognitionAnalysis labelled “descriptive”
Searching by source, file or locationSearching for meetings or eventsStatistical tests used
Searching by Bates numbersUsed keyword variation (e.g. misspellings)Software used to manage data