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Search health databases

Learn how to use the major health databases to find the best available evidence for your research

Plan your search strategy

The enormous amount of published research in the health & medical sciences can feel overwhelming, so before you start typing keywords into a database, plan your search strategy first to:

  • Maximise your chances of finding relevant information
  • Save you time
  • Ensure that your search is organised and reproducible

Formulating a search strategy involves a number of steps

  • Identify the key concepts of your topic
  • Work out alternative terminology for these concepts (synonyms)
  • Record this terminology in a logic grid
  • Adapt your basic logic grid so that it will work according to the specific rules of your chosen databases.

Reviewing your search strategy