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Clarifying differences between review designs and methods

Overview of attention for article published in Systematic Reviews, June 2012
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#44 of 1,571)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

3 blogs
4 policy sources
63 tweeters
1 Facebook page
1 Google+ user


367 Dimensions

Readers on

957 Mendeley
2 CiteULike
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Clarifying differences between review designs and methods
Published in
Systematic Reviews, June 2012
DOI 10.1186/2046-4053-1-28
Pubmed ID

David Gough, James Thomas, Sandy Oliver


This paper argues that the current proliferation of types of systematic reviews creates challenges for the terminology for describing such reviews. Terminology is necessary for planning, describing, appraising, and using reviews, building infrastructure to enable the conduct and use of reviews, and for further developing review methodology. There is insufficient consensus on terminology for a typology of reviews to be produced and any such attempt is likely to be limited by the overlapping nature of the dimensions along which reviews vary. It is therefore proposed that the most useful strategy for the field is to develop terminology for the main dimensions of variation. Three such main dimensions are proposed: (1) aims and approaches (including what the review is aiming to achieve, the theoretical and ideological assumptions, and the use of theory and logics of aggregation and configuration in synthesis); (2) structure and components (including the number and type of mapping and synthesis components and how they relate); and (3) breadth and depth and the extent of 'work done' in addressing a research issue (including the breadth of review questions, the detail with which they are addressed, and the amount the review progresses a research agenda). This then provides an overarching strategy to encompass more detailed descriptions of methodology and may lead in time to a more overarching system of terminology for systematic reviews.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 63 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 957 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 13 1%
Canada 9 <1%
United States 7 <1%
Germany 3 <1%
Portugal 2 <1%
Australia 2 <1%
Sweden 2 <1%
Netherlands 2 <1%
Indonesia 1 <1%
Other 9 <1%
Unknown 907 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 191 20%
Student > Ph. D. Student 183 19%
Researcher 131 14%
Student > Doctoral Student 85 9%
Student > Postgraduate 55 6%
Other 223 23%
Unknown 89 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 202 21%
Medicine and Dentistry 187 20%
Nursing and Health Professions 83 9%
Business, Management and Accounting 65 7%
Psychology 63 7%
Other 223 23%
Unknown 134 14%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 70. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 April 2021.
All research outputs
of 17,429,432 outputs
Outputs from Systematic Reviews
of 1,571 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 133,309 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Systematic Reviews
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,429,432 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,571 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 133,309 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them