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Scoping the literature for your research bid Unit 4.

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1 Scoping the literature for your research bid Unit 4

2 This unit builds on the search techniques we looked at in Unit 3 In this unit we will cover: What Methodological filters are How to use Methodological filters Examples of filters Applying filters Brief activity 3

3 Methodological Filters

4 A search filter is search strategy that you add on to your existing subject search. The filter attempts to retrieve high-quality studies from your subject search Filters work in one of two ways: –by identifying particular publication types or study designs most likely to answer a question –by isolating subject or free-text terms most likely to be associated with high-quality studies What is a methodological filter?

5 How do I use a methodological filter? Step One: Carry out a subject search as usual using MeSH terms and/or free text Step Two: Apply any logical limiters such as Year and/or Language Finally: Apply the methodological filter that is appropriate to the type of question you are asking?

6 An example of a therapy methodological filter Step One: explode Myocardial Infarction/ (9211) AND explode Adrenergic beta-Antagonists/ (4302) = 320 Step Two: Limit by Year>96 and Language=English = 206 Finally: Limit to CLINICAL-TRIAL in the Publication type = 37 Here we have done our subject search in step one, applied some limits in step two and finally added a simple, one-line filter (clinical-trial.pt.) in step three

7 Types of filter One-line filter Maximum sensitivity filter- aims to find as many relevant papers as possible, but may therefore pick up some non- relevant ones Maximum specificity filter- aims to eliminate as many non- relevant papers as possible, but may therefore miss some relevant ones Mid-range (or optimised) filter- aims to balance out sensitivity and specificity

8 Some one-line filters Using methodological filters on MEDLINE –e.g. For diagnosis try “Sensitivity” as a text word –e.g. For therapy try “Clinical Trial” in Publication Type –e.g. For prognosis try “cohort-studies” as MeSH –e.g. For (a)etiology try “risk” as a text word NB. MEDLINE is still the No. 1 database for diagnosis, prognosis & (a)etiology searches and Cochrane Library is No. 1 for therapy

9 A methodological filter for Diagnosis added to a search (lines 4-7 below)

10 Applications of filters Try adding a “quick one-liner” to a scoping search Or try using the automatic Clinical Queries service to filter your results: –In NHS Evidence –or Pubmed –http://www4.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/clinical.html or

11 Clinical queries can be used in Healthcare databases Advanced search

12 Clinical queries can be used in PubMed (www.pubmed.gov) Enter a subject search in the text box and then choose your filter by clicking the buttons below it- easy!

13 Activity 3 Conduct a search for the topic you have planned in units 1 and 2 on PubMed or Medline and one other database. Add a Methodological filter or Clinical query to your search

14 And finally... Citations: where will I use them? –Applicants details –Scientific summary –Lay summary –Relevance to funding stream/NHS –Project aims –Background –Project plan and costs –Project management –Research dissemination methods, IP –Ethics

15 And Finally...(2) What do they add / give to your application? –Lit review indicates the size and nature or problem –Acknowledge previous work –Emphasize currency by pointing to ongoing policy/developments? –Provide evidence of applicants skills and experience –Show that you know your stuff!

16 Observations from a funding panel References should be properly formatted Don’t cite yourself/your colleagues too much! Demonstrate you have up-to-date knowledge of the research area Don’t ignore similar research studies, cite them but clearly explain how yours is different or put the case for repeating previous research

17 And that’s all folks… Thanks for working through the course We really hope you found it helpful, and that elearning has worked for you For more elearning courses, check the RDS website at: And to complete the course evaluation, go to:


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