Reports & Data
As announced in the fall of 2011, CCL will close its doors permanently in the spring of 2012.
CCL deeply appreciates all the support it has received from employees, volunteers and stakeholders since its inception in 2004 and extends heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed to its success.
CCL uses the question scanning technique to determine the feasibility of conducting a further, more comprehensive, systematic review of the literature devoted to a given question.
A question scan is an exploratory tool to gauge the volume of literature in a field and summarize the predominant observations contained in the body of literature. The material identified through the question scanning process is not critically appraised for its quality.
Question scans include exploration of relevant academic databases using a broad range of applicable search terms, and a review of fugitive literature gathered from Canadian government, trade, professional organizations germane to the topic area.
We use these databases and the fugitive literature websites to locate material that is relevant to the topics identified. CCL staff and interns scrutinize the abstracts to determine the relevance of the material to the focal questions. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are applied to the literature located; themes are identified from the abstracts and summarized; and a recommendation about the feasibility of further in-depth analysis is made on the basis of the volume and relevance of the research collected.
Although question scans are not exhaustive in their coverage of the literature, they are procedurally systematic and transparent. CCL staff and interns maintain a ‘research diary’ documenting each search strategy including the command line, search terms, limiters and number of articles identified. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are documented and applied to the captured literature, and exclusion codes are applied to all documents not included for further review.
CCL question scan reports include summaries identifying the number of articles meeting the inclusion criteria and general themes in the literature. Key studies and other reviews or meta-analyses are highlighted for each thematic category. A summary of the results advanced by the authors is also included. We highlight research devoted to Canada whenever possible. Finally, a judgment is made by CCL staff about the value and feasibility of undertaking a further systematic review devoted to the topic.
For the purposes of transparency, references are included in the report’s bibliography. For the convenience of the reader, abstracts accompany all references when they were available.
Question Scans by: Title l Topic