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Postgraduate Medicine: How to Search the Literature

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

Purpose of this Guide

This guide provides a framework for searching the research literature. Keep in mind that searching is an iterative process, as such you may need to review and revise steps at any point.

The steps to searching the literature are:

  1. Formulate a Research Question
  2. Identify Search Concepts
  3. Identify Search Terms
  4. Construct a Search Strategy
  5. Select Resources to Search
  6. Search a Database
  7. Translate a Search Strategy
  8. Manage Search Strategies and Results

In some cases, more in-depth assistance is required. Book a research consultation to review your initial search or contact the Health Sciences Library Service Desk for help on quick questions.