4. How do I search for the evidence?
4.1. A database search strategy
5.1 A database search strategy
A search strategy ensures that a database search will be systematic and comprehensive.
One of the best ways to learn the fundamentals of database searching is to look at an example of a search strategy and see if you can follow the rationale and logic. Once you can do this, it becomes easier to translate the basic principles to your own searches.
Have a look at the search strategy in the table below and work through it line by line to follow the logic. Some of the terms may be unfamiliar: Boolean operators, subject heading, free text. These will be explained in more detail in the next few pages of the course.
This example is based on a search on CAB Abstracts and can be revised for other databases, which may use different subject headings. You can build a similar search using the ‘Advanced’ search in PubMed or VetMed Resource.