Literature Review Search

Your search strategy will account for all: Each database works differently so you need to adapt your search strategy for each database.You may wish to develop a number of separate search strategies if your research covers several different areas.Your aim is to consider each of your concepts and come up with a list of the different ways they could be expressed.

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Commands for adjacency searching differ among databases, so make sure you consult database guides.

In Ovid SP databases (like Medline), searching for “physician ADJ3 relationship” will find both physician and relationship within two major words of each other, in any order.

Wildcards are useful for finding British and American spellings, for example: “behavio?

r” in Medline will find both behaviour and behavior.

For example, “therap*” will find therapy, therapies, therapist or therapists. Use it to search for a single character, or no character.

Term Paper Grading Rubric - Literature Review Search

Check the database help section to see which symbol to use as a wildcard.Database subject headings are controlled vocabulary terms that a database uses to describe what an article is about.Watch our 3-minute introduction to subject headings video.There are sometimes different symbols to find a variable single character.For example, in the Medline database, “wom#n” will find woman and also women.It is a good idea to test your strategies and refine them after you have reviewed the search results.Take a look at this example literature search in Psyc INFO (PDF) about self-esteem.The example shows the subject heading and keyword searches that have been carried out for each concept within our research question and how they have been combined using Boolean operators.It also shows where keyword techniques like truncation, wildcards and adjacency searching have been used.Phrase searching decreases the number of results you get and makes your results more relevant.Most databases allow you to search for phrases, but check the database guide if you are unsure.


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