Too Few Results ?
Refine the Search Making the search more Sensitive
1: Add additional alternative terms
- Find alternative terms for each of the major terms
- Link theses alternatives with its each major term with OR
- Mark these groups with round brackets - always
New Strategy: aspirin ("heart attack" OR "Myocardial infarction" ) ( prevention OR prophylaxis)
2: Why use Brackets?
Compare these 2 pubmed searches : asthma children OR adults asthma (children OR adults)
- The first search gives you asthma in children but then adds...everything with adults in it
- The second search gives only papers about asthma in a population of children and adults
- More information about ANDS and ORs on this summary sheet HERE or in the presentation below
3a: Make minor terms less specific ie more general
Looking for Spider allergy in astronauts.... Compare these 2 searches:
"Spider Allergy" astronauts with more general allergy astronauts
OR if your focus is really on spider allergy try "Spider allergy" adults
3b: Omit the minor terms
If you are looking for a rarified topic, then try just searching for it as a single aspect/concept.
So just search for "Spider allergy" or even spider allergy
The search may then be too broad so you might search the main term and then exclude irrelevant items
So to get rid of spider mite results try Spider allergy -"spider mite" In google a minus sign is used for 'NOT'
For more information see Complex Searching Tab or the google guide below
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