Before you undertake your search there are two important pieces of information researchers need to remember.
Citation indexes are used in the initial planning phase of undertaking a systematic review. You cannot undertake a thorough search using these search engines.
Citation indexes are a good way of locating publications by known authors and viewing reference lists.
Google Scholar - Google Scholar enables broad searching of scholarly literature from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.
Web of Science - Provides access to the Web of Science Core Collection (Science Citation Index; Social Sciences Citation Index; Arts & Humanities Citation Index; Conference Proceedings Citation Index; Book Citation Index; Emerging Sources Citation Index) as well as 2 other indexes on the Web of Science platform - the BIOSIS Citation Index and the Zoological Record.
Scopus - A large indexing and abstracting database - providing access to scientific, technical, medical and social sciences literature. It contains records going back to the 1960s, and provides citation links across a wide body of scientific abstracts.
The primary databases are the key database used for undertaking systematic searching. Which database to use is dependent on the research being undertaken.
Hand searching is the manual method of searching through selected journals or books, page by page, from cover to cover looking for information relevant to the systematic review question being investigated, e.g. checking reference lists of journal articles or book chapters. This technique is also known as snowballing, reference harvesting or pearl growing.
Hand searching can assist researchers: