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How to Search the Literature (Advanced)

This guide offers an eight step approach from identifying your topic to managing your search strategy and results

Find Conference Proceedings Abstracts

  • Possible indication that your citation is an abstract:
    • Held in a supplement (suppl # as issue) and single page number
    • Single page or two pages with A# or S# or i# as the page reference
    • Embase: when you click on the article title to enter the record, it will identify it as a conference abstract
  • Often held in supplemental issues of the journal, but not always
  • Supplemental issues, or meeting abstracts are sometimes not contained in the full list of issues on a journal site. Ie. AJRCCM – conference abstracts are found in the drop down menu under meeting abstracts, not in the archive…look in browse, other content…
  • Often grouped together with a page range of abstracts, not indexed individually in the table of contents
    Once you are on the Conference site, the abstracts are often contained in an Abstract Book. You will need to download the PDF of the full abstract book to locate your abstract
  • Conference abstracts are sometimes free, even if the journal requires a subscription

Example 1

Click on the article title to view the full record (note: the publication type is conference abstract)

Scroll down in the record to see if there is a link to the journal site, or in this case, a direct link to the Conference Abstracts 

Once on the site, you will often see an Abstract Book, or the first page of the Abstract book. You will often need to download the PDF version of the full book to locate your abstract. Search by :

  • page number
  • Abstract number
  • Author name
  • unique part of the title





Example 2

Wright, B., Kleinman, M. (2021). Advanced survival in complete trisomy 13. Journal of Investigative Medicine, 69(2), 421. 

Search for the journal site, and navigate to the volume and issue.

Based on the information that the title is not found in the table of contents, and that it is one page, try the Conference Abstracts section:

You can then search by the author name, or part of the title to locate the abstract, or open the PDF to locate the page number referenced.