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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Evidence-Based Medicine

Search Tips

Search Tips and Tricks for Heavily Distilled Products

  • Consider browsing by disease, as this often leads to the “highest level” of article
  • If no index to contents exists, try a disease search, then browse results
  • The more distilled the product, the more general the search!
  • These are small databases; your results will be small even for one-word searches! e.g. search by drug or disease name, and add no qualifiers
  • Consider synonyms, spelling variations, word variations e.g. prevention = prophylaxis = primary prevention e.g. behavior = behaviour e.g. prozac = fluoxetine, also consider ssri, tradenames
  • Omit needless words that may remove good results!
  • Pubmed Clinical Queries - filter selection handles common aspects, e.g. treatment, so you don’t need those “qualifier” words
  • Start with a basic search.  If results are too large, add qualifiers one by one, not all-at-once

Search Tips and Tricks for Less Distilled Products and Search Engines

  • Your goal is to eliminate the junk and let the professional, high-quality literature filter to the top of the results list.
  • Think of words that the author would use
  • Use professional vs. layperson language E.g. Hypercholesterolemia not high cholesterol

The less distilled the product, the more specific the search!

EBM "How-to" Guides

Sketchy EBM - How I read a paperscreenshot of sketchy EBM video beginning

EBM Tools & Resources

EBM "How-to" Books