You have free access to this content

Appendix 1: Ten Tips for Effective Searching

  1. Caroline De Brún1 and
  2. Nicola Pearce-Smith2

Published Online: 15 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118463093.app1

Searching Skills Toolkit: Finding the Evidence, Second Edition

Searching Skills Toolkit: Finding the Evidence, Second Edition

How to Cite

De Brún, C. and Pearce-Smith, N. (eds) (2014) Appendix 1: Ten Tips for Effective Searching, in Searching Skills Toolkit: Finding the Evidence, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118463093.app1

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Clinical Support Librarian, UCL Library Services and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

  2. 2

    Information Scientist, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Summertown Pavilion, Middle Way, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 3 JAN 2014

Book Series:

Book Series Editors:

  1. Carl Heneghan,
  2. Rafael Perera and
  3. Douglas Badenoch

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118463130

Online ISBN: 9781118463093

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • database;
  • effective searching;
  • free text search;
  • keywords;
  • thesaurus search

Summary

For effective searching one has to turn the clinical problem into a searchable question and pull out the keywords. A list of alternative terms that might be used for each of the key concepts should be made. Search for one database and for one term at a time. Start with a thesaurus search and combine with a free text search. The database will search the whole text for the term entered and no others. Find additional or related search terms from retrieved records. Combine free text and thesaurus search terms under each concept using OR. If too many records are retrieved, go back over the strategy and narrow the search. If too few records are retrieved, go back over the strategy and widen the search. Limit search results at the end of the search. Finally, save search with the name of the database and the date searched, for future reference.