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Tips and tricks on how to use library resources and services

Request a literature search

Too busy & need someone to run a literature search for you?

As long as it is for Trust/clinical work and not for an educational course/study,
please click on the 'Request a literature search' button below and give us as much detail as you can.

Searching tips

For help with searching, have a look at our Searching Skills Resource Hub.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to help you search effectively:

  • Construct your search using the PICO framework:
    • Population/Patient - who do you want to find information about?
    • Intervention - what is the intervention, e.g. drugs?
    • Comparison - useful if comparing treatments e.g. ibuprofen vs paracetmol
    • Outcome - what would you like to measure/achieve?
  • Identify the key search concepts in your search questions.
  • Identify any relevant synonym terms for your concepts, e.g. alternative spellings (UK vs US), plurals etc.
  • Create a keyword search for each concept using your synonyms and Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
  • Some databases allow you to search using subject headings (pre-defined topics/thesaurus).
    Combining subject headings with your keyword searches makes your search more comprehensive.

For more help with searching, download the Literature Search Process: Guidance for NHS Researchers (PDF).