Off-Campus Access

Systematic Searches

Systematic Searches #1: Introduction

This series of tutorials cover the fundamental concepts and general procedure of searching the health science literature in a systematic manner. They will mainly focus on systematic searches required by a "systematic review". The goal of these tutorials is to ensure that your search is comprehensive, methodical, transparent and reproducible, so that your conclusions are as unbiased and closer to truth as possible. This first video of the series introduces the concept of "systematic review" and makes a rough comparison between a search done for a systematic review and an ordinary literature search.


Systematic Searches #3: Preparing for a Systematic Search

This video demonstrates a number of tasks reviewers usually do before performing a full-scale systematic search. For example, a preliminary search is usually conducted to find out if anyone else has done a review on the topic before. Reviewers also do "scoping" searches or "pearl-growing" searches to better understand existing primary studies on the topic. These techniques also help develop a list of search terms that can be used in the full-scale search. Finally this video gives examples of online databases, which reviewers may search depending on the subjects of their topics.


Systematic Searches #7: Building Search Strategies (Part IV)

This video continues to demonstrate, using OvidSP MEDLINE as the example database, the basic concepts in building searching strategies. In particular, proximity searches with the positional operator, frequency searches with the frequency operator, Boolean searches with the Boolean operators, and the various limit options in OvidSP are demonstrated.