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Finding Clinical Evidence

How to find evidence for patient care.

Why use a search strategy?

1. Developing a search strategy helps you create and articulate your research question.

2. A search strategy is more efficient and saves you time.

3. A well developed search strategy helps with scholarly communication and allows others to understand your research.

4. Saved search strategies allow you to replicate your search at a later date.

To help you articulate your research question, schedule a consultation with a librarian. We will walk you through a Research Map and get you started!

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Search Startegies

Constructing a search strategy

  • Define your topic: What question are you trying to answer?
  • Identify keywords and phrases: List related terms, broader terms and more narrow terms
  • Identify the subject area that your topic is categorized under

For more in-depth searching, click the Refine Your Search tab

Try Your Search

  • Use the keywords and phrases you have developed in the databases you have identified as relevant
  • Step 1: Start with your most specific terms
  • Step 2: Consider using filters, limiters and/or related terms
  • If you are not retrieving useful results, try the librarian tips and tricks in the Refine Your Search tab

You can also schedule an appointment with a Research and Learning Librarian!

These "Tips and Tricks" are often used by Librarians when searching for information in databases.

Refining Your Search

  • Phrase searching: "spinal surgery"
  • Truncation: mimic*
  • Boolean operator AND: doctors AND managed care
  • Boolean operator OR: tumor OR tumour
  • Boolean operator NOT: arthritis NOT letter
  • Complex searches: salmonella AND (hamburgers OR eggs)

Schedule an appointment with a Research and Learning Librarian to help you create searches that bring back results!

Search Strategy Tutorials

Check out these tutorials that can help you build better searches that return more relevant results!