Basic & Advanced search strategies are used in literature searches to align your PICO question to the results you hope to get back in order to answer it.
Databases function differently than a Google search engine and will require a different approach. That is where your key words and synonyms come into play.
With a basic Keyword search, you are simply taking the most relevant details of your question and entering them into the search field. Advance searching combines keywords with techniques such as Boolean Operators & nesting.
In children, what is the effect of duct tape on warts compared with cryotherapy?
Note that simple and advanced searching will bring back different results based on order of operations. See "nesting" in advanced searching for more information.
Some databases, such as Pubmed and Embase, use automatic term mapping and Emtree (respectively) to provide synonyms. Other sources you may search will not and it is important to consider alternative spellings and terms, as authors may vary wording but retain the same concept. Some examples are below:
TIP: If you choose not to consult a thesaurus before searching, keep a watchful eye for alternative terms while you search the literature. Make a note of them so you can decide later if you would like to adjust your search to include them.
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The sources you consult will depend largely on your question. FAU has many databases and journals available but there also may be useful sources that are not within our collection ( e.g. resources available through lenders within other libraries participating in ILL [Interlibrary Loan]; Open Access resources; and gray literature not in the FAU collection.)
Something else to consider while thinking about the resources you consult: are you asking a background or foreground question?
Information for background questions can be found in textbooks, dictionaries, and review articles.
I.e. "In pediatric patients with Allergic Rhinitis, are Intranasal steroids more effective than antihistamines in the management of Allergic Rhinitis symptoms?"
Information for foreground questions can be found in POC sources and medical databases (such as Medline, Embase, Cochrane, TRIP, etc.)
Databases are a great option to turn to first but can vary widely on content. Become familiar with the FAU available medical databases with the Database Quick Reference.
Some things to consider when choosing a database:
TIP: As you find articles you like, take note of the journal it is published in. You can head directly to the journal to run a few searches to see if there are other relevant articles that have not been brought up in your database searches. Search for FAU provided journals using the below link:
You can incorporate specific journals into your search strategy. Sometimes there may be a prominent journal in your field that you already know or you discover one while you searched the databases. You can also choose to browse the FAU Electronic journals to check if there are any that may fit your topic.
Some things to consider when choosing a journal:
SPARC's definition of Open Access is as follows:
" Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives."
While you will not be "searching" ILL, per se, you may have to utilize the library's Interlibrary Loan service at some point in your search. If you haven't already, make a FREE account using your FAU NetID: click HERE. If you experience issues with placing a request, please contact Tiffany Follin for assistance.
ILL is able to borrow material from over 3,600 libraries across the world, and the cost to bring in an item is typically covered by the FAU Libraries. There are a couple things to keep in mind when utilizing ILL in your search and considering your timeline:
Two videos, below, have been created by the ILL department to demonstrate how to place ILL and UBorrow requests.
The definition of grey literature, as agreed upon at the Twelfth International Conference on Grey Literature in Prague in 2010, is as follows:
"Grey literature stands for manifold document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats that are protected by intellectual property rights, of sufficient quality to be collected and preserved by libraries and institutional repositories, but not controlled by commercial publishers; i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body."
Some examples are below:
Note: the strategy to find gray literature will be different as resources are not typically contained within a database. Start broad and slowly narrow your search as needed.
FAU databases for gray literature:
A selection of public resources for gray literature:
If Google Scholar is your preferred search site, remember to sign into EZProxy first if you are off campus, or use the link above. Your search results will display citation counts (provided via the Web of Science database), and the "Find it @FAU" link will link directly to FAU subscribed resources.
Google Scholar article example:
Figuring out how you are going to organize your approach & findings is equally as important a step in your strategy. FAU faculty, residents, and students have access to one citation management software provided by FAU. Free citation management software are also available and are covered below. If you prefer not to use them, you can still keep yourself organized via a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet.
The goal of this box is to help provide structure to:
1) FAU provides access to one citation management software: Endnote Web Basic.
EndNote Web Basic
2) My NCBI
5) Create a Word document.
6) Create an Excel Spreadsheet.
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