Skip to main content

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 a non-linear and potentially iterative process; as such you may need to review and revise earlier 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.

Searching is a non-linear and potentially iterative process.