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Search Biomedical Literature: A How-To Guide

Overview of steps and resources to assist researchers searching biomedical literature

Search for Biomedical Literature Overview

Search for Biomedical Literature Overview

Step 1. Develop a Research Questions

  • You may find it helpful to structure the topic in an established format for life and health sciences. 
  • Do some background research
  • You may find that the original question is too broad. After you have done the background research, you will have a better idea of what specifically you are interested in.

Step 2. Decide Which Database(s) to Use

  • Select the databases you will use to conduct your searches. Make a list of the databases you will search.

Step 3. Write a Search Strategy

  • Searching is an iterative process, so you may need to test and refine before setting on your final search strategy. Your search strategy should use a combination of keywords and controlled vocabulary terms to represent each concept of your research topic. 

Step 4. Search & Collect References

  • Conduct your searches and find the literature
  • Use a citation manager to collect references
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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.