Searching for evidence


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searching tips and tools, recommendations, getting the most from databases, finding RCTs, EBP, evidence based practice, hospital library, DeepWeb, Grey Literature, Altmetrics,

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  • Not exhaustive lists!
  • ePubs ahead of print; pubmed central author manuscripts, non-topical from e.g. science or nature
  • Must have search word in title (metrics)
  • Searching for evidence

    1. 1. “Library Elevenses” Search tips for those with a healthy appetite for knowledge. And cake.
    2. 2. Searching – the basics • Browsing/surfing – serendipity • Searching – plan ahead – Use PICO (Population or Patient; Intervention; Comparative intervention; Outcome) – Identify key concepts – Keywords/synonyms
    3. 3. PICO Clinical Question Search Strategy in CINAHL Patient/Problem Mechanically ventilated patients (MM "Ventilator Patients") OR (MM "Ventilation, Mechanical, Differentiated") OR (MM "Ventilators, Mechanical") OR (MM "Respiration, Artificial+") OR “mechanically ventilated” Intervention Mouthwash (MM "Mouthwashes+") OR mouthwash Comparison (if relevant) Toothbrushing (MM "Toothbrushing") OR (MM "Toothbrushes") OR “mouth care” Outcome Avoidance/reduction of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (MM "Pneumonia, Ventilator- Associated") Type of Question Scoping question for possible change of procedure/practice Related articles; referenced articles; forward citation searching Type of Study Practice Guideline, RCTs, Meta-analysis, Case studies
    4. 4. PubMed PubReminer:
    5. 5. What type of information? • Guidelines: use NICE, SIGN, TRIP, National Clearinghouse, G.I.N., Associations/ Organisations • Diagnosis: point-of-care tool e.g. UpToDate; OvidMD • Evidence-based research: Cochrane Library, PubMed/Medline, CINAHL, PeDRO, Embase, PsycINFO, TRIP, Scopus etc • Management/Governance: Emerald Management Plus • List of sources: http://
    6. 6. Find Clinical Trials/SR Protocols • Current Controlled Trials (International, ongoing trials): • CenterWatch (industry-sponsored trials): • (Compiled by US NIH): • EU Clinical Trials Register (EU/EEA trials):
    7. 7. Clinical Trials/contd… • IFPMA Clinical Trials Portal (ongoing and completed trials compilation): • NCIC Clinical Trials Group: • Prospero (International database of prospectively registered SRs managed by CRD): • WHO Trials Registry Platform portal (also provides links if available to the full original records):
    8. 8. Get the most from databases • Controlled language: MeSH (PubMed), CINAHL Subject Heading, Emtree (Embase). – know any limitations • “pearl gathering”, “snowballing” & “forward tracking” • Customisation and personalisation features – Save searches/create alerts, collections, filters etc
    9. 9. New feature! Relevance search
    10. 10. “Deep Web”searching You never get access to the full extent of the web, e.g. -Paywall protected content -Confidential data e.g. Patient records Image:
    11. 11. Searching the Deep Web Topic-specific databases: • • • (Yahoo style directory) •http://
    12. 12. Other tools Metasearch: • • • • Grey Literature: • National/Institutional Repositories: • (Irish healthcare now part of RIAN Open Access Irish research: •The Health Well: http:// • (directory of open access repositories)
    13. 13. Web Archives:
    14. 14. Other resources • (tracking epidemics) •
    15. 15. Also try Orphanet ( OR RareBestPractices (
    16. 16. Patient Information Sources • UpToDate: • HONcode: Keeping the patient informed: now a legal requirement in France.
    17. 17. UpToDate – patient info
    18. 18. Taken from the ONION, 13th June, 2014. Available at: corporations-using-tag-and-release- programs-t,36271/
    19. 19. From the Belfast Telegraph, 24th June 2014
    20. 20. Google search: narrowing results Try “advanced search” and/or use these boolean operators: AND is the default when using several keywords and is not needed + preceding a keyword means it must be included in results - preceding a keyword means it must not be included in results. | between words means OR ~ preceding a keyword means search that keyword and its synonyms filetype:pdf hospital returns PDF files with “hospital” in the text filetype:doc health returns Microsoft Word files with “health” in the text filetype:ppt guidelines returns Microsoft PowerPoint files with “guidelines” in the text filetype:jpg clinical returns jpg files with “clinical” in the filename
    21. 21. Google extra Google custom search: : Search Irish healthcare websites. This icon appears after you have completed a search
    22. 22. Click here for advanced scholar search
    23. 23. Altmetrics • : Altmetrics Explorer tool. • Install the altmetrics bookmarklet (Firefox/Chrome) • Google Scholar citations ( and “publish or perish” from • Author unique ID: (Explorer tool: c. €6000 per institution; “publish or perish” and ORCID is free)
    24. 24. Security/Privacy
    25. 25. Social Media Info-sharing: •Select your best 50 to follow on Twitter •Blogtrottr/feedly/netvibes •Apps: e.g. Browzine, Docphin, READ (http:// • •Bookmarking & Tagging e.g. Diigo, CiteULike •SVHG Library Twitter (@svhglibrary) and Facebook accounts
    26. 26. •Use of sentiment analysis for capturing patient experience from free-text comments posted online. Greaves F, Ramirez-Cano D, Millett C, Darzi A, Donaldson L. J Med Internet Res. 2013 Nov 1;15(11):e239. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2721. PubMed [citation] PMID: 24184993 PMCID: PMC3841376 •2: Identifying barriers to patient acceptance of active surveillance: content analysis of online patient communications. Mishra MV, Bennett M, Vincent A, Lee OT, Lallas CD, Trabulsi EJ, Gomella LG, Dicker AP, Showalter TN. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e68563. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068563. PubMed [citation] PMID: 24039699 PMCID: PMC3770634 •3: Sociotechnical challenges and progress in using social media for health. Munson SA, Cavusoglu H, Frisch L, Fels S. J Med Internet Res. 2013 Oct 22;15(10):e226. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2792. PubMed [citation] PMID: 24148206 PMCID: PMC3806390 •4: Social media and rating sites as tools to understanding quality of care: a scoping review. Verhoef LM, Van de Belt TH, Engelen LJ, Schoonhoven L, Kool RB. J Med Internet Res. 2014 Feb 20;16(2):e56. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3024. Review. PubMed [citation] PMID: 24566844 PMCID: PMC3961699 •5: Internet use frequency and patient-centered care: measuring patient preferences for participation using the health information wants questionnaire. Xie B, Wang M, Feldman R, Zhou L. J Med Internet Res. 2013 Jul 1;15(7):e132. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2615. PubMed [citation] PMID: 23816979 PMCID: PMC3714005
    27. 27. Facebook Research Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Kramer AD, Guillory JE, Hancock JT. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 17;111(24):8788-90. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320040111. Epub 2014 Jun 2. PMID: 2488960 Abstract Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008) BMJ 337:a2338], although the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others' positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.
    28. 28. Ask a Librarian “Have a Eureka moment in your Library!” Contact: Image: CC by