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Table 1 Formulae for calculating search recall, precision, and specificity

From: Evaluating the impact of MEDLINE filters on evidence retrieval: study protocol

  Relevant article Non-relevant article
Search Articles found a b
  Articles not found c d
  1. Recall (also referred to as sensitivity in diagnostic test terminology) a/(a+c), the proportion of relevant articles that were found by the search compared to the total number of relevant articles.
  2. Precision (also referred to as positive predictive value in diagnostic test terminology) a/(a+b), the proportion of relevant articles that were found by the search compared to the total number of articles found by the search.
  3. Specificity d/(b+d), proportion of articles not found by the search that are not relevant.