WHERE to Search
Information Databases vs. Google (or Google Scholar)
A lot of library resources can be accessed through the internet, but that does not always mean you can get to them from Google.
- Library resources are expensive: enabling access to high quality information.
- Library resources are focused: different databases for different research topics.
- Library resources give you more search power: you can limit your search by date, research type, age group, peer reviewed, etc.
- Google does not allow you to export/download all citations.
- Google searches are not reproducible. However, you should still document your process if you search this resource.
HOW to Search
Keyword Searching & Subject Searching
- Keyword searching is what most people are familiar with.
- Subject searching can take more time but tends to yield better results.
- Not all concepts have subject headings, and sometimes, you will want to use both strategies.
Tips for Keyword Searching
- Use synonyms
- Truncate: In a lot of databases, the symbol is “*.” For example, diagnos* will bring up articles with diagnosis, diagnosing, diagnostic, diagnostics, etc.
- Spelling: For instance, pediatrics or paediatrics. For more British spellings, you may want to look at this site https://www.lexico.com/grammar/british-and-spelling
- Use fields like abstract or title: One way to limit results to more relevant items is to look for keywords in the abstract or title of an article.
Tips for Subject Searching
- Look for the suggestions in the database. For example, MeSH in PubMed or “Suggest Subject Terms” in CINAHL.
- Search each concept separately so you can take advantage of term mapping.
- If the term does not map the first time, try a synonymous term. You might also try searching for your term in the title of articles and then look at the subject terms (a.k.a. headings).
- Cochrane RCT Filters: https://work.cochrane.org/rct-filters-different-databases
- Cochrane Human Filter in PubMed: [Search string] NOT (animals [mh] NOT humans [mh])
- ISSG Search Filter Resource: https://sites.google.com/a/york.ac.uk/issg-search-filters-resource/home
- SIGN Search Filters for Study Type: https://www.sign.ac.uk/what-we-do/methodology/search-filters/
- McMaster University Hedges Project: https://hiru.mcmaster.ca/hiru/HIRU_Hedges_home.aspx
FIND Full Text
- Click the Find It button below each reference to see if full text is available.
- If there is full text available, click on the Article or Journal link.
- Ruth Lilly Medical Library guide for Systematic Reviews: (The three levels of service the library offers are outlined here.) http://iupui.libguides.com/systreviews/
- PODCAST-The Process of a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis: M. Hassan Murad, MD, MPH,discusses the process of a systematic review and meta-analysis (audio – 14 mins, 17 secs). - (https://www.ulib.iupui.edu/cgi-bin/proxy.pl?url=https://mhp-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/jama_podcasts/jamaevidencepc/murad_cut.mp3)
- Cochrane Handbook: http://www.cochrane-handbook.org/
- PRISMA guidelines for reporting: http://www.prisma-statement.org/
- National Academies of Science, Technology and Medicine’s Standards for Systematic Reviews: http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2011/Finding-What-Works-in-Health-Care-Standards-for-Systematic-Reviews/Standards.aspx
- Yale MeSH Analyzer: This tool extracts indexing information from MEDLINE articles to allow users to visually scan subject headings. http://mesh.med.yale.edu/
- RLML Endnote Guide: http://iupui.campusguides.com/endnote/rlml
As always, if you need assistance, do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-274-7182.