+Searching: Methods, Concepts, Resources,& ToolsJohn PellAssistant ProfessorHunter College Libraries
+ Overview of the content of this talk: Topic Selection Formulation of a Research Question Search Strategies Informati...
+Topic Selection
+Topic Selection: Clearly identify the overall goals/strategic purpose of theactivity in order to align the goals for pri...
+Topic Selection: Appropriateness Importance Desirability of new research/duplication Feasibility Potential valueTopi...
+Formulation of a ResearchQuestion
+Formulation of a Research Question: “Well-formulated questions will guide many aspects of thereview process, including d...
+Formulation of a Research Question: Drugs? Is Aspirin good for preventing strokes? Is Aspirin more effective than Thie...
+Formulation of a Research Question: POPULATION INTERVENTION COMPARISON OUTCOMEThe PICO formatHiggins JPT, Green S (ed...
+Formulation of a Research Question: How does cup feeding compare to other forms of supplementalenteral feeding on weight...
+Search Strategies
+Search Strategies Specific Reproducible Provide evidence-base for making statements about the qualityof existing infor...
+Search Strategies Searches should seek high sensitivity, which may result inrelatively low precision Too many different...
+Search Strategies Excerpt from PubMed bioethics search strategy: jsubsete OR ethical [ti] OR ethically [ti] OR ethico O...
+Information Resources
+ Information Resources Research Library Databases Research Guides Search Engines Government Agencies Non-profit Org...
+Information ResourcesResearch LibraryFind your library’s list ofdatabases on the web
+Information ResourcesLibrary Databases“Browse by Subject” forsmaller lists
+Information ResourcesLibrary Research GuidesUse library research guidesto help find a variety ofsources of information
+Information ResourcesLibrary Research GuidesLibrary research guides aretagged by subject and coursenumbers, try browsing ...
+Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and your Research LibraryLink Google Scholar with yourresearch library using thesetti...
+Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and Your Research LibraryUse the “library links” menu toset up connections to yourlib...
+Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and Your Research LibraryEnter your library’s name,check the box, and click saveto se...
+Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and Your Research LibraryFull Text Links will appear inthis column when available.
+Information ResourcesGovernment Agencies
+Information ResourcesNon-profits
+Information ResourcesData & Statistics on Government and Non-profit sitesCheck for “Data & Statistics,”“Research” or “Pub...
+Information ResourcesGovernment & Non-profit web apps for data
+Tools for Managing Searches
+Tools for Managing SearchesResearch tools
+Tools for Managing Searches Capture Citations from Websites Save and Organize Records from Databases Link Database Rec...
+Keep in touch with your librarian!These presentation slides canbe downloaded from myslideshare profile.
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Search Concepts, Methods, Resources, and Tools

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These are slides I used for a presentation to a group of graduate students about to undertake their field work for their capstone project in public health. The aim of the presentation was to provide guidance for topic selection, developing research questions, creating search strategies, conducting searches, and managing search results. The concepts and and methods are informed by standards for systematic review but are presented at a more general and less rigorous level.

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  • Caution: the progression of these questions may give the appearance that developing a well-formulated research question is simply a matter of being more specific. That is not the case. Well-formulated research questions have an underlying structure that gives clues about the kind of information that could be used to help answer the question; it is possible for a well-formulated question to be broad in scope.
  • Note: Equal emphasis in addressing each PICO component is not necessary; reviews may be found that do not emphasize aspects of the PICO format.
  • Search Concepts, Methods, Resources, and Tools

    1. 1. +Searching: Methods, Concepts, Resources,& ToolsJohn PellAssistant ProfessorHunter College Libraries
    2. 2. + Overview of the content of this talk: Topic Selection Formulation of a Research Question Search Strategies Information Resources Tools for managing searches
    3. 3. +Topic Selection
    4. 4. +Topic Selection: Clearly identify the overall goals/strategic purpose of theactivity in order to align the goals for priority setting within thestrategic purpose of the sponsoring program. Clearly define and apply criteria for prioritization amongpotential program activities Involve stakeholders in the identification and/or prioritizationprocessPrinciples and processes for research topic selectionWhitlock EP, Lopez SA, Chang S, Helfand M, Eder M, Floyd N.Identifying, Selecting, and Refining Topics. 2009. Available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK47096/table/cerguidetopics.t1/?report=objectonly. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    5. 5. +Topic Selection: Appropriateness Importance Desirability of new research/duplication Feasibility Potential valueTopic Selection CriteriaWhitlock EP, Lopez SA, Chang S, Helfand M, Eder M, Floyd N. Identifying,Selecting, and Refining Topics. 2009. Available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK47096/table/cerguidetopics.t4/?report=objectonly. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    6. 6. +Formulation of a ResearchQuestion
    7. 7. +Formulation of a Research Question: “Well-formulated questions will guide many aspects of thereview process, including determining eligibility criteria,searching for studies, collecting data from included studies, andpresenting findings.”What is important about a research question?Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for SystematicReviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. TheCochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from www.cochrane-handbook.org.
    8. 8. +Formulation of a Research Question: Drugs? Is Aspirin good for preventing strokes? Is Aspirin more effective than Thienopyridine derivatives forpreventing stroke and other serious vascular events in highvascular risk patients?Questions/Research Questions/Well-FormulatedQuestions1. Sudlow CL, Mason G, Maurice JB, Wedderburn CJ, Hankey GJ.Thienopyridine derivatives versus aspirin for preventing stroke and otherserious vascular events in high vascular risk patients. In: CochraneDatabase of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2009.Available at:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001246.pub2/abstract. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    9. 9. +Formulation of a Research Question: POPULATION INTERVENTION COMPARISON OUTCOMEThe PICO formatHiggins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for SystematicReviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. TheCochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from www.cochrane-handbook.org.
    10. 10. +Formulation of a Research Question: How does cup feeding compare to other forms of supplementalenteral feeding on weight gain and achievement of successfulbreastfeeding in newborn infants who are unable to fullybreastfeed? How effective are lifestyle, drug and surgical interventions fortreating obesity in childhood? What are the effects of primary prevention interventions(school-based, community/home-based, clinic-based, and faith-based) on unintended pregnancies among adolescents?Try identifying the POPULATION, INTERVENTION,COMPARISON, and OUTCOME:
    11. 11. +Search Strategies
    12. 12. +Search Strategies Specific Reproducible Provide evidence-base for making statements about the qualityof existing informationSearch Strategies and Research Methodology
    13. 13. +Search Strategies Searches should seek high sensitivity, which may result inrelatively low precision Too many different search concepts should be avoided, but awide variety of search terms should be combined with ORwithin each concept. Existing highly sensitive search strategies (filters) should beused.“Sensitive” search strategies- Cochrane Standard forSystematic ReviewHiggins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for SystematicReviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. TheCochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from www.cochrane-handbook.org.
    14. 14. +Search Strategies Excerpt from PubMed bioethics search strategy: jsubsete OR ethical [ti] OR ethically [ti] OR ethico OR ethics [mh] OR ethics[ti] OR ethics [sh] OR ethicist OR ethicists OR ethics committee [cn] ORbioethic OR bioethical OR bioethicist OR bioethicists OR bioethics ORabortion, criminal [majr] OR abortion, eugenic [majr] OR ((abortion, induced[majr:noexp] OR abortion, legal [majr]) NOT animals [mh:noexp] AND(attitude [mh] OR public opinion OR coercion OR decision making [mh] ORprenatal diagnosis [majr] OR pregnancy trimester, third [mh] OR womenshealth services OR womens rights [mh])) OR (abortion, legal [majr] ANDtrends) OR (abortion, therapeutic [majr] AND (attitude [mh] OR publicopinion OR coercion OR decision making [mh] OR womens rights [mh])) ORadvance directive adherence OR advance directives [mh] OR advancedirectives [tiab] OR animal care committees [mh] OR (animalWhat does a “sensitive” strategy look like?Ethics KI of. Search Strategy Used to Create the Bioethics Subset onPubMed. Available at:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/pubmed_subsets/bioethics_strategy.html.Accessed June 13, 2013.
    15. 15. +Information Resources
    16. 16. + Information Resources Research Library Databases Research Guides Search Engines Government Agencies Non-profit Organizations
    17. 17. +Information ResourcesResearch LibraryFind your library’s list ofdatabases on the web
    18. 18. +Information ResourcesLibrary Databases“Browse by Subject” forsmaller lists
    19. 19. +Information ResourcesLibrary Research GuidesUse library research guidesto help find a variety ofsources of information
    20. 20. +Information ResourcesLibrary Research GuidesLibrary research guides aretagged by subject and coursenumbers, try browsing thepublic health guides
    21. 21. +Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and your Research LibraryLink Google Scholar with yourresearch library using thesettings menu
    22. 22. +Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and Your Research LibraryUse the “library links” menu toset up connections to yourlibraryNote the“Bibliographymanager” settings.You can use these toset up your citationmanager.
    23. 23. +Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and Your Research LibraryEnter your library’s name,check the box, and click saveto set up links to your library’sfull text resources
    24. 24. +Information ResourcesGoogle Scholar and Your Research LibraryFull Text Links will appear inthis column when available.
    25. 25. +Information ResourcesGovernment Agencies
    26. 26. +Information ResourcesNon-profits
    27. 27. +Information ResourcesData & Statistics on Government and Non-profit sitesCheck for “Data & Statistics,”“Research” or “Publications”headings.
    28. 28. +Information ResourcesGovernment & Non-profit web apps for data
    29. 29. +Tools for Managing Searches
    30. 30. +Tools for Managing SearchesResearch tools
    31. 31. +Tools for Managing Searches Capture Citations from Websites Save and Organize Records from Databases Link Database Records with Full-text Files Automatically Download Full-text Files When Available Download Citation Data for Full-text Files Quickly Create Bibliographies in a variety of styles Quickly insert and format in-text citations in your writing Collaborate on shared projectsResearch tools may help you to:
    32. 32. +Keep in touch with your librarian!These presentation slides canbe downloaded from myslideshare profile.

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