Welcome to the Scholarship in Medicine Research Guide!
Here you will find information on getting started with your research and using various library resources to help you complete your required scholarly project. Use the dropdown options under the "Scholarship in Medicine" tab to reach all of the content for the library modules of your Scholarship in Medicine class.
Besides the Medicine Research Guide with all of the content as seen in the tabs above, librarians have created guides to help you in all aspects of research. To the left of this box is a link "Browse all subject guides" to all of the subject oriented research guides, like biology, psychology, sociology, education, etc. Additionally, you see guides for specific topics: "Avoiding Plagiarism", "Copyright", "Citing Your Sources" and "Scholarly Articles".
Once you have developed a good research question the next step is to learn to create a search strategy by working through the items below. Creating a search strategy means translating your question into a format that can be easily understood by the search engine connected to the resource you choose to use.
Learn more about creating a search strategy in the short tutorials below.
Boolean operators form the basis of mathematical sets and database logic.
Why use Boolean operators?
Use AND in a search to:
The purple triangle in the middle of the Venn diagram below represents the result set for this search. It is a small set using AND, the combination of all three search words.
Be aware: In many, but not all, databases, the AND is implied.
Use OR in a search to:
All three circles represent the result set for this search. It is a big set because any of those words are valid using the OR operator.
Use NOT in a search to:
Databases follow commands you type in and return results based on those commands. Be aware of the logical order in which words are connected when using Boolean operators:
Truncation, also called stemming, is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.
The most common truncation symbol is the asterisk - * - (shift 8)
Filters vary depending on the database of choice. Some databases may call these "limiters" or ways to "refine" your search.
What To Look For:
Records in library databases are comprised of fields containing specific pieces of bibliographic information. Common fields include:
How Database Fields Improve Your Search
What To Look For:
Phrase Searching Tips
Most databases allow you to specify that adjacent words be searched as phrases.
Some databases allow you to specify that the words you are searching are within a certain proximity of each other. Proximity operators are more specific than Boolean operators and make your search more precise.
NOTE: PubMed does not have any kind of proximity searching. It also does not do a phrase search if you use quotes. If you use a phrase, the phrase might be in PubMed "phrase" index, in which case it will find your phrase. If your phrase is NOT in PubMed's phrase index, then PubMed defaults to an "AND" search.