How to conduct literature searches

by Beverley Berry


Last updated: March 2019


This module covers sourcing relevant, up-to-date articles in databases and on the internet. This includes the use of PubMed (the freely available medical literature database) and Google Scholar, as well as other free resources, such as NICE Evidence and the Cochrane Library.


Databases incorporate a number of features to help you get the best possible results from your search. Google Scholar is also widely used for literature searching, but does not give you guidance on what terms to use to get the best results. Therefore, it is better to have some idea of how articles are indexed in databases such as PubMed in order to get the most from Google Scholar and other databases.


In this module, we will look at identifying the medical subject headings (MeSH) assigned to articles in the PubMed database, and then at building a search strategy that can be used in Google Scholar or other databases.


Start the module


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