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Nursing Literature: Searching and Organizing: Get Started

What's Your Literature Search Strategy?


  1. Define text words/keywords
  2. Determine synonyms for concepts & keywords
  3. Think about different spellings & variations in endings
  4. Consider brand names (for example, specific drug or device)
  5. Decide limits on language (for example, English only)
  6. Determine other limits (for example, age groups, publication types)
  7. Decide how far back you want to look
  8. Perform test searches
  9. Identify “controlled vocabulary” (subject headings/descriptors)
  10. Combine logically all search terms
  11. Perform more test searches
  12. Customize your search strategy to specific databases

Adapted from "How to Develop a Search Strategy for Cochrane" (2007)


What's Your Question?

Designing Your Literature Search

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