How Do I… Do a Literature Search?

The Training pages have details of our scheduled sessions on literature searching and finding information, and how to get in touch to book, or request a bespoke session. We can also take you through a guided search, where you build your literature searching skills during a 1:1 session where you do the searching with advice from an expert librarian.

Work through the How to Search the Literature Effectively online course on the E-learning for healthcare platform. This self-study course will take you through finding information and developing your literature searching skills step by step. There are 3 modules, which each take about 20 minutes and can be worked through separately. You’ll get a completion certificate at the end too!

Phrase your topic as a specific, focused question. Although you won’t use the full sentence to search it will focus your query.

Break the question down into it’s main topics or keywords. The PICO system can help with this.

Think of alternative words or synonyms for your search terms:

e.g. Physiotherapy OR physical therapy OR Exercise.

e.g. Heart disease OR Coronary disease OR Health attack OR Myocardial infarction OR MI OR Atrial fibrillation OR Cardiac problem

e.g. Elderly OR Aged OR Old age

Select an appropriate database from our Information Resources

Use Boolean Terms AND, OR to link your search terms together.

Apply limits to the search such as: Age range, Language