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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Searching the Literature: A Guide to Comprehensive Searching in the Health Sciences

Students and researchers in the health sciences are often required to conduct comprehensive searches of the literature. Follow the steps in this guide to learn how this process works.

Exporting Your Results

Trying to figure out how to batch export before importing into your citation manager of choice? Check out our step-by-step guides for batch exporting your citations as RIS files in Ovid, Wiley Cochrane Central, Ebsco, Scopus, and ProQuest!

Citation Management

Comprehensive searches involve searching multiple databases, which results in a significant number of duplicated references (dupes). Remember that dupes are a necessary result of any sensitive search: no dupes = high risk of missing important articles. So, how will you organize all these references, remove duplicates, prepare your citations, and format your final paper? Use a citation manager. 

To learn more about citation management and pick the right software option for you, follow the hyperlink. 

What do Gerstein Librarians Recommend?

If you are a researcher undertaking a systematic or scoping review and are dealing with large numbers of citations, Gerstein librarians recommend any DESKTOP-BASED reference management software, for ex:

  • Endnote Desktop 
  • Mendeley
  • Papers

A web-only/cloud-based citation manager (ex: RefWorks) may be more difficult to work with as it cannot import high numbers of references at the same time.  

If you have already dedicated time and effort to learn a particular program and are happy with it, we say love the one you're with!

Endnote for Knowledge Syntheses

Gerstein library staff have developed a video series on how to use Endnote for systematic and scoping review citation management. Please see this playlist on YouTube to view.

This work is openly licensed via CC BY-NC-SA 4.0For information on this guide contact Erica Nekolaichuk, Faculty Liaison & Instruction Librarian at the Gerstein Science Information Centre.