Digital technologies enable the storage of vast amounts of information, accessible with remarkable ease. However, along with this facility comes the challenge to find pertinent information from the volumes of nonrelevant information. The present article describes the pearl-harvesting methodological framework for information retrieval. Pearl harvesting relies on the sampling of articles from a body of literature to extract the relevant search keywords. The general steps for using this method were applied to finding the essential list of search keywords for the topic of developmental disabilities. The success with the present investigation suggests that pearl harvesting might be used as a framework to develop keyword search lists in other areas, thereby providing a general methodology to help manage comprehensive literature reviews.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rachel_sandieson/4/