PubMed Search Strategy #2

The problem: no results in PubMed or no useful results in PubMed.

Don’t panic. You could go back to Search Strategy #1. That would be wise.

But you’re short on time & don’t know what to do.

Here’s one strategy.

(1) Search for your terms in the title of an article. The easiest way to do this is to use the [ti] field tag with each term in the search box. Run the search.

(2) Look for an on-target indexed citation. All citations with this tag (highlighted in yellow) are indexed:

Indexed for MEDLINE

Indexed for MEDLINE

Once you’ve located a useful indexed citation, display the citation in the Citation format by changing the Display setting:

Citation Display Option

Citation Display Option

This display format will show the MeSH terms used to index the citation. MeSH terms describe content. Use them as search terms (do not tag these with the [ti] tag).

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PubMed Search Strategy #1

What’s the very first thing to do when you need to find articles about whatever? I mean, the very FIRST thing. You’re not going to believe me but this is it:

Figure out what you’re looking for.

A fuzzy question leads to fuzzy results. You probably don’t want fuzzy.

Defining your research question is the most important part of doing successful literature searching — in PubMed or any other database.

How to define the question?

Any method that gets you thinking in specific terms about what you’re looking for will be useful.

The goal: frame your question in a single sentence.
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PubMed: My NCBI changes

Two recent changes to My NCBI in PubMed:

  1. Share Collections
  2. Customize search filters

These are terrific new developments for your My NCBI account. What’s it mean for you?

Share Collections

Have you ever wanted to share PubMed citations with a group of people? Say you’re all working together on the same project and you’ve been charged with doing the literature search. You’ve got all these great citations but….what? How do you get them to everyone in your group?

  • Save the citations as a Collection in your My NCBI account
  • Mark the Collection “public”
  • Copy the resulting URL
  • Email the URL to all the members of your group
  • Everyone now has access to the citations in the Collection!

Your collection is not static. If you add additional citations, anyone using your link will see the new additions, too. If you delete citations from the Collection, link users will see the edited list.

Customized Search Filters

When you search PubMed, the default search filters for the results are “All” and “Review.” Through your My NCBI account, you can set additional useful filters.

  • Want to see only articles in English? Set a filter for that.
  • Want to see only articles published in the last 5 years? Set a filter for that.
  • Want to see only articles that are clinical trials? Set a filter for that.

But, what if the filter you want isn’t available?

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Wikis, Facebook, and Twitter…Oh My!

June 3, 2009 Faculty Colloquium Workshop:

Links and Information

Wikis in Medicine:

  • Ask Dr. Wiki: A “medical wiki with the goal of creating a collective online memory for physicians, nurses, and medical students.”
  • Ganfyd: A “free medical knowledge base that anyone can read and any registered medical practitioner may edit. Ganfyd is a collaborative medical reference by medical professionals and invited non-medical experts.” (Ganfyd = Get A Note From Your Doctor)
  • Medpedia: A “repository of up-to-date unbiased medical information, contributed and maintained by health experts around the world, and freely available to anyone.” Produced in association with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, the Berkeley School of Public Health, and the University of Michigan Medical School
  • Radiopaedia: Radiology wiki supported by Toshiba that aims to “gather a small fraction of our collective knowledge…in a single site which can act as a digital reference, without subscription fees, or copyright. A true peer reviewed site, where errors can be found and corrected, discussion on difficult or controversial topics can be had, and images submitted and used. “
  • An entire list of medical wikis is maintained by David Rothman, medical librarian and blogger, and can be found here.

Build your own wiki:
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