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When you are searching large databases (like Medline, Cinahl or PsychInfo) which are full of references, how can you find what you want more effectively? How can you try and be more comprehensive in your search? What tips are there to assist?

This course will go through seven steps to take you through a search from the beginning. There are one or two light activities to help illustrate the principles.

Course objectives

As we talk you through the seven steps, will will use some PowerPoint slides, some demonstration and some activities to illustrate them. We will try to explain everything as clearly as we can, but do not hesitate to ask any questions if you want to.

Will will ask the group to identify the different concepts in a search question, we will then ask them to rank them in order of importance.

After we have talked about some of the different resources available, we will focus on the main healthcare databases and demonstrate the principles we have looked at. We will illustrate how to combine search terms together using pictures of food and finish by explaining how you can get the fulltext of articles.


We encourage you to come with your own search question as we may want to use it during the session.

Teaching materials
There is a guide to accompany this session which you can find online here. This guide is designed to be in depth and includes examples and explanations for each step. There is also a much shorter summary guide for those with more experience and/or confidence. This can be downloaded here.

What they said...
One attendee attended this course and then said:

"Often teaching on these essential subjects can become easy to lose focus in, however [this course] contextualised each learning point both in examples, as well as in participation, and therefore it was much easier to follow and understand".

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