Literature searching for researchCatherine EbenezerLibrary and Information Serviceupdated April firstname.lastname@example.org
Purposes of literature searchingIdentify extent and quality of workalready carried out in the subjectareaIdentify key contactsAvoid duplication!
Planning your search: PICOPatient/population/problemIntervention/exposureComparison/control (may beimplicit)Outcomes
Try it for yourselves!Effect of different types of flooring on incidenceof falls in frail elderly peopleAre ACE inhibitors effective in delayingadmission to nursing/residential care for peoplewith Alzheimer’s disease?What interventions can reduce challengingbehaviour in dementia?
A search framework: 1Identify synonyms for each search concept asidentified in your PICO frameworkUse Boolean OR to combine synonyms foreach PICO componentUse Boolean AND to combine the groupedPICO components to execute your search
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
Search techniques 1Thesaurus 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 aboutFree 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***
Search techniques: 2To increase the number of results you retrieve:Combine free text with subject headings using ORTruncate Stem: e.g. psychiatr* retrieves psychiatrist, psychiatric Internal / wildcard: Schultz or Schulz? Schul?z will find bothExplode Expands database subject headings to include narrower terms e.g. exp Dementia/ will include Alzheimer’s disease, vasculardementia, Lewy body dementia etc.
Search techniques: 3To increase the number of results you retrieve:Related articles – from any relevant articleOVID, PubMed MEDLINE, Google ScholarCited by – for key papersOVID, Google Scholar, Web of ScienceReference lists in CINAHL
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 ANDSelect 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 recentUse clinical filters
Types of literature: 1Primary literatureJournal articlesPreprintsConference proceedingsInformally published reports –(“grey literature”)Theses
Types of literature: 2Secondary literatureReviewsBooks: edited collectionsBooks: monographs / surveysOfficial publicationsCATs, POEMs etc.
Sources for literature searching: 1Databases of articles and books Bibliographic e.g. MEDLINE, PsycINFO Full text e.g. PsycArticles, Cochrane DatabaseLibrary cataloguese.g. COPAC, British Library, LIBERO, Teesside UniversityResearch databasese.g. NIHR Portfolio Database / NIHR Research Portal,Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library (USA),Research Register for Social Care
Sources for literature searching: 2… not forgetting …Hand searching of core journalsReference lists / footnote chasingPrinted bibliographies (older material)Search engines (NB Google Scholar, Google Books)Specialised Web portalsPicking colleagues’ brains / contacting key researchers – can yieldunpublished materialSocial networking with other researchers
Characteristics of the literatureMental health literature is problematicmultidisciplinary“poorly controlled” in some areasscattered 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
Bibliographic databases: 1MEDLINE ATHENS4000+ journals indexed; 1948-Produced by National Library of Medicine (USA)Available free at www.pubmed.gov and via NHSEvidenceEuropean journals not particularly well coveredMental health coverage reasonableStrong on acute medical specialitiesPubMed version has useful ‘related articles’ feature
Bibliographic databases: 2Psychological Abstracts(PsycINFO, PsycLIT, ClinPsyc) ATHENSProduced by American Psychological Association: 1806-Not available anywhere free, but short-term access viaweb can be purchasedCovers all aspects of psychologyComprehensive but some US bias
Bibliographic databases: 3EMBASE ATHENSEuropean commercial product: 1980-Comprehensive psychiatry coverageStrong on pharmacology and drug therapyissuesThesaurus terms very “old-fashioned”First resort!N.B. OVID EMBASE now includes non-overlapping MEDLINE records
Bibliographic databases: 4CINAHL ATHENSCovers nursing, allied health professions, healthmanagement, health librarianship; 1982-Recent records include references – can search –good for tracking down older materialUS bias but increasingly strong coverage of UK andAustralasian literatureGood for psychiatric nursingIncludes detailed abstracts of US / Canadian nursingthesesSome journals very obscure
Bibliographic databases: 5Psychology and Behavioral Sciences CollectionATHENS575 full text publicationsnearly 550 peer-reviewed titlescovers emotional and behaviouralcharacteristics, psychiatry and psychology,mental processes, anthropology, andobservational and experimental methods
Bibliographic databases: 6AMED ATHENSProduced in UK by British Library: 1985-Allied and Complementary MedicineAims to complement MEDLINEBest source of UK allied health literature
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
Bibliographic databases: 8Citation indexesIdentify a significant piece of published research inyour fieldFind out who has cited it in later workWeb of Science citation indexes(available in university libraries)OVID databases – ‘ find citing articles’ featureGoogle ScholarBMJ Journals
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) ATHENSDissertation Abstracts
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
Bibliographic databases: 11Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com 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!
Specialist search enginesScirus: scientific content - includes scientistshomepages, courseware, pre-print server material,institutional repository and website informationOAIster: institutional repository contentSHERPA Search: full-text search of UK repositoriesOpenDOAR: world-wide directory of open accessinstitutional repositoriesEThOS – BL electronic theses online
Specialist portalsUseful for background information, contactsNHS EvidenceNational Institute for Mental Health in EnglandCentre for Mental HealthPsychNet-UKPsychology WikiPsychCentralBrainSource.com
Current awareness servicesCurrent awarenessbulletinsElectronic tables ofcontentsSubject-basedalertingRSS feedsMonitoring changesin web pagesHealth news servicesSaved searches inhealth databasesNetvibes portal:www.netvibes.com/tewv-lis
Managing your referencesMany 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 peopleBibliographic 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
Managing your referencesInstalled on your PCEndNoteReference ManagerProCiteJabRef (free!)Web-basedRefWorksConnotea (free!)CiteULike (free!)Mendeley (free!)Wikipedia article:Comparison of reference management software
Research information: 1Current / ongoing researchNIHR portal and National Research Register archive: ongoing andrecently-completed research projects funded by or of interest tothe NHSResearch Register for Social Care: current and completed UKsocial care researchNIH RePORTER (USA): federally-funded biomedical researchCurrent Controlled Trials: information about RCTsDatabase of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatment:publishes uncertainties about the effects of treatmentwhich cannot currently be answered via systematic reviews
Research information: 2Current / ongoing researchMental Health Research NetworkDementias and NeurodegenerativeDiseases Research NetworkRCN Research and DevelopmentCo-ordinating Centre
Research information: 3Guidance and funding for researchers: nationalAssociation of Medical ResearchCharities: good practice in researchRDInfo / RDFunding: training, fundingopportunities, adviceResearch Councils UK
Research information: 4Guidance and funding for researchers: localMental Health Research Centreat Durham UniversitySPIRE seminarsInvolvement in MHRN studiesResearch clinicsResearch training: modules in research methods upto master’s level
Catherine EbenezerLibrary and Information ServicesManagercatherine.email@example.com 838380 / 838112
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