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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

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
  9. How to Find the Full Text

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.