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Literature searching for research


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Resources and techniques for literature searching in mental health

Resources and techniques for literature searching in mental health

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  • 1. Literature searching for researchCatherine EbenezerLibrary and Information Serviceupdated April
  • 2. Purposes of literature searchingIdentify extent and quality of workalready carried out in the subjectareaIdentify key contactsAvoid duplication!
  • 3. Planning your search: PICOPatient/population/problemIntervention/exposureComparison/control (may beimplicit)Outcomes
  • 4. Try it for yourselves!Effect of different types of flooring on incidenceof falls in frail elderly peopleAre ACE inhibitors effective in delayingadmission to nursing/residential care for peoplewith Alzheimer’s disease?What interventions can reduce challengingbehaviour in dementia?
  • 5. A search framework: 1Identify synonyms for each search concept asidentified in your PICO frameworkUse Boolean OR to combine synonyms foreach PICO componentUse Boolean AND to combine the groupedPICO components to execute your search
  • 6. A search framework: 2P I C Oacute stroke blood pressure reduction no treatment secondary preventioncerebrovascular accidentcerebrovascular eventischaemic strokeanti-hypertensive agentshypertension – drugtherapydiuretics, atenolol etc.lowering blood pressure placebosecondary prophylaxisreduce mortalityrisk reductionAND AND ANDOR OR OR OR
  • 7. Search techniques 1Thesaurus terms / subject headings Find using ‘map to subject headings’ feature Hierarchical, structured to indicate relationships between concepts: NT, BT,UF, RT Each database has its own, .e.g. MeSH, EMTREE Describe content / what the article etc. is aboutFree text – terms occurring within a bibliographic record Can limit by field e.g. in title, in abstract, in periodical title Do not necessarily reflect subject content***Use subject headings to improve the specificity andsensitivity of your search***
  • 8. Search techniques: 2To increase the number of results you retrieve:Combine free text with subject headings using ORTruncate Stem: e.g. psychiatr* retrieves psychiatrist, psychiatric Internal / wildcard: Schultz or Schulz? Schul?z will find bothExplode Expands database subject headings to include narrower terms e.g. exp Dementia/ will include Alzheimer’s disease, vasculardementia, Lewy body dementia etc.
  • 9. Search techniques: 3To increase the number of results you retrieve:Related articles – from any relevant articleOVID, PubMed MEDLINE, Google ScholarCited by – for key papersOVID, Google Scholar, Web of ScienceReference lists in CINAHL
  • 10. Search techniques: 4To restrict / decrease the number of results you retrieve:Use ‘restrict to focus’ / ‘major descriptors’Add more subject terms to your search strategy using ANDSelect subheadings (only if you are really swamped!)Use limit features Language - English Age group – your target population Publication type – consider searching for reviews only Date range – most recentUse clinical filters
  • 11. Types of literature: 1Primary literatureJournal articlesPreprintsConference proceedingsInformally published reports –(“grey literature”)Theses
  • 12. Types of literature: 2Secondary literatureReviewsBooks: edited collectionsBooks: monographs / surveysOfficial publicationsCATs, POEMs etc.
  • 13. Sources for literature searching: 1Databases of articles and books Bibliographic e.g. MEDLINE, PsycINFO Full text e.g. PsycArticles, Cochrane DatabaseLibrary cataloguese.g. COPAC, British Library, LIBERO, Teesside UniversityResearch databasese.g. NIHR Portfolio Database / NIHR Research Portal,Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library (USA),Research Register for Social Care
  • 14. Sources for literature searching: 2… not forgetting …Hand searching of core journalsReference lists / footnote chasingPrinted bibliographies (older material)Search engines (NB Google Scholar, Google Books)Specialised Web portalsPicking colleagues’ brains / contacting key researchers – can yieldunpublished materialSocial networking with other researchers
  • 15. Characteristics of the literatureMental health literature is problematicmultidisciplinary“poorly controlled” in some areasscattered across many different databases: none is comprehensive all need to be looked at in a thorough searchBrettle A J and Long A F (2001) Comparison of bibliographic databases for informationon the rehabilitation of people with severe mental illness. Bull Med Libr Assoc 89(4) 353-361
  • 16. Bibliographic databases: 1MEDLINE ATHENS4000+ journals indexed; 1948-Produced by National Library of Medicine (USA)Available free at and via NHSEvidenceEuropean journals not particularly well coveredMental health coverage reasonableStrong on acute medical specialitiesPubMed version has useful ‘related articles’ feature
  • 17. Bibliographic databases: 2Psychological Abstracts(PsycINFO, PsycLIT, ClinPsyc) ATHENSProduced by American Psychological Association: 1806-Not available anywhere free, but short-term access viaweb can be purchasedCovers all aspects of psychologyComprehensive but some US bias
  • 18. Bibliographic databases: 3EMBASE ATHENSEuropean commercial product: 1980-Comprehensive psychiatry coverageStrong on pharmacology and drug therapyissuesThesaurus terms very “old-fashioned”First resort!N.B. OVID EMBASE now includes non-overlapping MEDLINE records
  • 19. Bibliographic databases: 4CINAHL ATHENSCovers nursing, allied health professions, healthmanagement, health librarianship; 1982-Recent records include references – can search –good for tracking down older materialUS bias but increasingly strong coverage of UK andAustralasian literatureGood for psychiatric nursingIncludes detailed abstracts of US / Canadian nursingthesesSome journals very obscure
  • 20. Bibliographic databases: 5Psychology and Behavioral Sciences CollectionATHENS575 full text publicationsnearly 550 peer-reviewed titlescovers emotional and behaviouralcharacteristics, psychiatry and psychology,mental processes, anthropology, andobservational and experimental methods
  • 21. Bibliographic databases: 6AMED ATHENSProduced in UK by British Library: 1985-Allied and Complementary MedicineAims to complement MEDLINEBest source of UK allied health literature
  • 22. Bibliographic databases: 7Cochrane Library Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews NHS Economic Evaluations Database (EED) NHS CRD Database of Abstracts of Reviews ofEffectiveness (DARE) HTA Database Cochrane Methodology Register Central Register of Controlled Trials
  • 23. Bibliographic databases: 8Citation indexesIdentify a significant piece of published research inyour fieldFind out who has cited it in later workWeb of Science citation indexes(available in university libraries)OVID databases – ‘ find citing articles’ featureGoogle ScholarBMJ Journals
  • 24. Bibliographic databases: 9Others …ChildData (child health and welfare)ASSIA (applied social sciences)Social Care Online (social work)OTSeeker (occupational therapy)PEDRO (physiotherapy)HMIC (health management) ATHENSDissertation Abstracts
  • 25. Bibliographic databases: 10lots of web-accessible databases on specialist areas: BiblioSleep: sleep Autism Data autism /ASD Aegis: AIDS-HIV NARIC: disability CIRRIE: rehabilitation PIE: mental health policy Campbell Collaboration: social policyreviews CAMEOL: complementary therapies speechBITE – speech pathology POPLINE – population / reproductivehealth NSPCC library catalogue – childprotection BEI: education (UK) AgeInfo (UK), Ageline (US) ERIC: education (US) Alcohol Concern Knowledge Base:alcohol DrugData: substance misuse PEP-WEB: psychoanalysis Health Systems Evidence: healthmanagement Dementia Catalogue PsycBITE – psychological effects ofABI
  • 26. Bibliographic databases: 11Google Scholar Incorporates results from bibliographic databases (e.g. MEDLINE) preprint servers and institutional repositories library catalogues publishers’ catalogues Ranks results by relevance (how?) Links to: full text where available(NB links to content of TEWV e-journals on site) references citing the work ‘related articles’ Can use limits and Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)BUT – what does it contain? And not contain? Inconsistent!
  • 27. Specialist search enginesScirus: scientific content - includes scientistshomepages, courseware, pre-print server material,institutional repository and website informationOAIster: institutional repository contentSHERPA Search: full-text search of UK repositoriesOpenDOAR: world-wide directory of open accessinstitutional repositoriesEThOS – BL electronic theses online
  • 28. Specialist portalsUseful for background information, contactsNHS EvidenceNational Institute for Mental Health in EnglandCentre for Mental HealthPsychNet-UKPsychology WikiPsychCentral
  • 29. Current awareness servicesCurrent awarenessbulletinsElectronic tables ofcontentsSubject-basedalertingRSS feedsMonitoring changesin web pagesHealth news servicesSaved searches inhealth databasesNetvibes
  • 30. Managing your referencesMany bibliographic databases will allow you to exportand save your search results in different formats (e.g.XML, WebCharts, HTML, PDF, tagged text) and / oremail them to yourself or to other peopleBibliographic management applications can beused to manage references. These let you: collect and organise references from many different resources into your ownpersonal, searchable database create formatted bibliographies and reading lists develop lists of cited articles as footnotes or as endnotes at the conclusion ofpapers
  • 31. Managing your referencesInstalled on your PCEndNoteReference ManagerProCiteJabRef (free!)Web-basedRefWorksConnotea (free!)CiteULike (free!)Mendeley (free!)Wikipedia article:Comparison of reference management software
  • 32. Research information: 1Current / ongoing researchNIHR portal and National Research Register archive: ongoing andrecently-completed research projects funded by or of interest tothe NHSResearch Register for Social Care: current and completed UKsocial care researchNIH RePORTER (USA): federally-funded biomedical researchCurrent Controlled Trials: information about RCTsDatabase of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatment:publishes uncertainties about the effects of treatmentwhich cannot currently be answered via systematic reviews
  • 33. Research information: 2Current / ongoing researchMental Health Research NetworkDementias and NeurodegenerativeDiseases Research NetworkRCN Research and DevelopmentCo-ordinating Centre
  • 34. Research information: 3Guidance and funding for researchers: nationalAssociation of Medical ResearchCharities: good practice in researchRDInfo / RDFunding: training, fundingopportunities, adviceResearch Councils UK
  • 35. Research information: 4Guidance and funding for researchers: localMental Health Research Centreat Durham UniversitySPIRE seminarsInvolvement in MHRN studiesResearch clinicsResearch training: modules in research methods upto master’s level
  • 36. Catherine EbenezerLibrary and Information ServicesManagercatherine.ebenezer@tewv.nhs.uk01642 838380 / 838112