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Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Subject guide for all QUB Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences students and staff

Literature search planning and database selection

If you need to run a literature search in order to find relevant articles on a medicine or life science topic, it is recommended that you spend some time planning your search before running it.

The videos below offer tips and guidance on: 

  • Formulating a search question
  • Identifying search concepts and synonyms
  • Using AND/OR to combine search terms
  • Selecting search limits
  • Choosing and accessing databases appropriate to your search topic

Additional videos in this subject guide focus on running searches in specific databases.

Planning a literature search

Video runtime: 4 minutes 23 seconds

Choosing and accessing databases

Video runtime: 5 minutes 13 seconds

Further information

If you are not sure of your search question, or the concepts/keywords for which you should be searching, please contact your supervisor.

For advice on choosing and using databases, please contact your Subject Librarian, Richard Fallis.

Also, you can click the link below for more tips on planning a literature search (these tips relate primarily to systematic reviews, but are applicable to other types of literature search as well).