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Guide to literature searching

Find Literature in 5 Steps

1  Navigate to Ovid Medline page  >> popular databases  >> select institution >>  Medline.   Ovid Medline page will open


2  Break your question down to concepts

EG literature on guidelines for hand hygiene in nursing becomes hand hygiene + guidelines + nursing

You will search each of these separately, then combine.


3  Search first concept using MeSH 

  • enter words for first concept in search bar eg hand hygiene      
  • a new page will open suggesting subject headings (MeSH - what's a MeSH?)
  • to see the definition of a subject heading click the symbol to the right of screen
  • click the subject heading to see related terms
  • you can choose multiple subject headings.
  • select explode to include more specific terms
  • click through the sub-headings page
  • if none of the subject headings are relevant select the bottom option search as keyword


4   Repeat for other concepts



5  Combine the lines of your search

Your results should be mostly relevant.

Want more results?

Use explode when selecting your subject heading in step 3  to include related sub-categories.

Want more targeted results?

Use focus in step 3 to restrict to core material ()