Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Find the best evidence

Common search limits

AND/OR/NOT Insulin AND infusion will find material that contains both the words insulin and infusion.

AIDS OR Acquired immune deficiency syndrome will find material that contains either or both of the words AIDS or Acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Insulin NOT infusion will find material that contains insulin but not the word infusion. Use NOT with caution.
Brackets Sometimes it is useful to group parts of your search together using brackets e.g. (adolescent OR paediatric OR pediatric) AND (insulin OR infusion).
Phrase searching To find a particular name or phrase use quotes e.g. “The age of reason”
Thesaurus and subject headings Many databases have their own thesaurus. You can use the thesaurus to identify terms (sometimes referred to as subject headings) which will help to refine your search. Medline uses specialised medical subject headings (MeSH).
Truncation Neoplas* will find neoplasia, neoplastic, neoplasm.
Note: The symbol for truncation will vary between resources.
Wild card *edema will find the word oedema as well as the word edema.
p*ediatrics will find the word pediatrics as well as the word paediatrics.
Note: The wildcard symbol will vary between resources.
Year of publication Sort your findings by date or restrict your search to certain date ranges.
Publication type Most databases allow you to limit your search according to publication or material type eg journals, conference papers, newspapers.
Language Many databases allow you to limit your search according to language.

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