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This article describes an efficient procedure for computing approximate confidence levels for searches for new particles where the expected signal and background levels are small enough to require the use of Poisson statistics. The results of many independent searches for the same particle may be combined easily, regardless of the discriminating variables which may be measured for the candidate events. The effects of systematic uncertainty in the signal and background models are incorporated indoi:10.1016/s0168-9002(99)00498-2 fatcat:k4wz2yunavd67px7tcvol45rcq