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Advanced Search Techniques for Health & Life Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Advanced Search Techniques for Health & Life Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advanced Search Techniques for Health & Life Sciences

2 This presentation will introduce you to advanced search techniqes for locating evidence- based scholarly resources for your subject area, including:  Resources Available via the Library Website  Finding books and journals- electronic & print  Searching  Developing a search strategy  Searching Scopus  Searching Medline  Additional suggested E-Resources:  RefWorks  Internet resources for public health  Using Pearltrees links for Global Public Health  Support  Questions

3  e-books (electronic books) via Discover Further e-book search options/ individual collections:  Search, Browse, Print & download  Register for a profile within e-book databases/ search platforms such as Discover for...  Save items to your bookshelf  Highlight and make notes on the book, see our guide on using a personal profile in Discover.using a personal profile in Discover

4  Electronic journals or e-journals  Accessed via Discover or other major multi-source databases or individual collections/ platforms  Read online or print / download articles  Browse or search issues  To find articles on specific criteria visit the homepage of platforms/collections to see advanced search options (e.g. Discover Advanced Search Options):

5  An electronic index to journal articles, conference proceedings and papers, reports, government and legal publications, patents, books  Contains citations, abstracts and often links to the full text  Library has many different databases but they all work with the same concepts

6  Clear question  Appropriate keywords  Select keywords from question  A databases will retrieve exactly the words you type  Use ‘operators’ to link keywords together  Synonyms or similar terms  List similar terms or alternative spellings (pediatric OR paediatric, obese OR overweight )  Construct your search strategy with these points in min d

7 What are the key concepts? Now you have your key concepts what do you do with them to help answer your question? Does weight loss and exercise help reduce high blood pressure? Does weight loss and exercise help reduce high blood pressure?

8  To retrieve relevant information you need to be able to link concepts/keywords together  Databases use Boolean operators to do this  There are three main operators: (broadens search) OR will show more results (narrows search) combines concepts (excludes a concept) use with CAUTION

9  Truncation – alcoho*..will show:  alcoholic  alcohol  alcoholism  alcoholics  Proximity Searching  Database dependant See LibGuides – Guides for boolean help sheethelp sheet

10  Phrase searching  Inverted commas around a phrase or term  Heart disease will search for heart, disease, heart disease  “heart disease” will search for heart disease  Limits  Applying limits will focus your search  Publication date, age, publication types, peer- reviewed article, systematic reviews etc Remember limits are database dependant

11  Scopus is the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources  Contains 45.5 million records, 70% with abstracts  Nearly 19,500 titles from 5,000 publishers worldwide  70% of content is pulled from international sources  Includes over 4.6 million conference papers

12  Phrases need to be in “quotation marks”  Think of alternative terms for your topic –  obese  overweight  obesity  Try proximity operators –useful for some searches  Search terms separately and combine similar terms with OR  Use AND to combine these ‘groups’ of similar terms  Use limits to reduce the number of results

13  From the main Library Web pages ( and the Electronic Library  From the Library for Online Programmes (left menu “Quick Search”) or E-Resources page):  Go direct to SCOPUS at

14  Used to find one word near to another word in a sentence or paragraph  There may be different ways to say the same thing 1.“Penicillin allergy” 2.allergy to penicillin  Using proximity operators increases the number of results  w/2 (within 2 words of each other) w/3 ( 3 words) etc “penicillin allergy” = 1,767 results penicillin w/2 allergy = 2,363 results A phrase search for 1 would not find 2

15 A reminder of our question Does weight loss and exercise help reduce high blood pressure? Does weight loss and exercise help reduce high blood pressure? “Weight Loss” “Weight Loss” exercise “high blood pressure” “high blood pressure”

16 1“weight loss”This is a phrase so “quotation marks” are needed 2 Los* w/2 weight Find loss or lose or lost WITHIN 2 words of weight in any order. The * replaces any letter 3“weight reduction diet”Alternative way of saying no 1 41 or 2 or 3 Combine 3 searches with OR so ANY of the terms will be found 5exercise 6“high blood pressure”“phrase” 7hypertensionAlternative way of saying no 6 86 or 7Combine with OR so EITHER of the terms will be found 94 and 5 and 8 Combine with AND. Results will contain any 1 term from 4 AND term 5 AND any 1 term from 8

17 “weight loss” Loss w/2 weight “weight reduction diet ” “weight loss” OR Los* w/2 weight OR “weight reduction diet”

18 exercise “high blood pressure” OR hypertension “weight loss” OR Loss w/2 weight OR “weight reduction diet” Area within the overlap contains one term from each set of results

19  MEDLINE is the premier, comprehensive biomedical database from the US National Library of Medicine  Updated daily -latest bibliographic citations and author abstracts  More than 3,900 biomedical journals  Journals from more than 70 countries  Abstracts are included in more than 75% of the records  Coverage 1948 to present

20  Medline has a thesaurus – a controlled list of terms  Whatever terms the author has used the indexer will try and ‘map’ the term to a term on this list MeSH  These thesaurus terms are referred to as MeSH terms or ‘Medical Subject Headings’ or sometimes ‘subject headings’  If your search terms ‘maps’ to a term in this list it will appear in your search history with a / hypertension/  Exploding means including more specific terms lower down the thesaurus tree

21 If you chose to ‘explode’ your term will appear in your search history with an exp e.g.: exp hypertension/ Exploding Exploding - includes all terms LOWER in the thesaurus tree

22 A reminder of our search terms

23  From the main Library Web pages ( and the Electronic Library  From the Library for Online Programmes, then see the E-Resources page):

24  Then save that search!  Use the saved search function to save time and effort  Create an account by clicking on the link (top of page), fill in your details, save your search  Keep a note of which keywords you’ve used - which were most / least useful  Results – click on to find the article

25  Reference management packages  Collect, organise & manage references  Articles, books & websites  Software will cite in your chosen format and create your bibliography  See our Refworks step-by-step guide and further guides/ video:

26  Access RefWorks via Library for Online Programmes (right menu or Refworks help pages):  Off campus use group code - available from the library website  Export references into your Refworks account directly from databases/ collections.  Continue access after leaving Univ of Liverpool  How to use RefWorks on You Tube

27  Common problems:  Spalling mistakes  Tyyping errors  Searching with the wrong keywords  Incorrect symbols for Boolean, truncation or wildcard  Searching on the wrong database Check online help or ask a librarian

28  Do you have a good article already? Look it up on the database and see how its indexed. Have you used these terms? Would it expand / widen your search?  Is there an author who writes on your topic? Have you searched to see what else they have written?  If you have found a good result are there similar article suggested by the database or the ‘Find it @ Liverpool’ option ?

29 MedlineLife sciences and medical information from 3,900 biomedical journals from 1948 AMEDAllied and Complementary Medicine physiotherapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation – 500 journals from 1995 CINAHL Plus Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature – nearly 4,500 journals from 1937 Global Health Public health database, information on international health, non-communicable diseases, public health nutrition, food safety & hygiene, 1.2 million records from 1973

30 PsycINFOPsychology & psychological aspects of related disciplines in such areas as medicine, nursing, sociology, physiology ScopusMulti-disciplinary database covering health and social sciences Web of Knowledge Scientific Medical and technical publications includes references and ‘cited’ function

31  Medical information needs to be  Accurate - be based on best evidence  Current and Clear  Medical information on the Internet –  Much is of high quality  Much is inaccurate - possibly dangerous  Select your sources carefully! – Internet Detective

32  Healthtalkonline or www.youthtalkonline.org Over 60 topics including - Drugs & Alcohol, HIV, Sexual Health, Health & Weight  Behind the Headlines Unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that make the news

33  NHS Evidence - wide range of health information much is freely available  Produced by NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence)  Fast, easy to use search engine on the site  Refine by – Areas of Interest, Type of Information, Sources  Accreditation Mark - organisations providing information for the site meet high quality standards

34  Set up in 1995 by medics wanting some quality control for healthcare websites  Evaluates health websites – accreditation symbol  Suggestion - two ways to use –  Look for HON code on the website being viewed  Search database of HON accredited sites  8 criteria for evaluating websites

35  Providing meaningful health intelligence from information and data to support decision making  12 public health observatories across the UK  Health profiles for Local Authorities and Counties  Reports produced by all the PHO’s  eg Older People’s Health and Wellbeing Atlas produced by West Midlands PHO

36  Website to find Government services and information  News, information, publications and statistics from central government departments, agencies and public bodies  Set up Email alerts / RSS feeds on your area of interest

37  Indexes all WHO publications 1948 onwards, articles from WHO-produced journals, technical documents 1985 to date.  Some full text links EQUATOR Network EQUATOR Network  Resource centre for good reporting of health research studies  International initiative to enhance reliability & value of medical research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies.

38 Hospital Episode Statistics h  Hospital episode statistics  Details of all NHS inpatient treatment, outpatient appointments, A&E attendances in England  Monthly topics of interest focusing on areas of the data  Collection of health and social care indicators  Public Health information –statistical, data collections etc

39  A place to collect, organize, discover and share everything you like on the web  Share and work in a collaborative way  Link trees  Global Public Health tree – set up by librarian at British Library  Register and create or just view  3622024&N-fa=3070313&N-u=1_ 328129&N-p=28586298&N-s=1_3622024

40  See your Librarian contact details under the “Contacts” area of the site  Virtual help online  9am-5pm Mon - Fri - live help  Skype/ Skype number  Web form/ email

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