Best practices for effectively searching journal databases like CINAHL & PubMed:
1. Identify your topic's key concepts and related terms. Convert your topic/clinical question into the PICO format if doing an evidence-based practice search. PICO stands for Population (or Patient), Intervention, Comparison, Outcome.
2. Select subject terms (using a database's controlled vocabulary/thesaurus) if this is an option. CINAHL uses CINAHL Headings; PubMed uses Medical Subject Headings [MeSH].
3. Search each of your different concepts/subject headings individually.
4. Combine your multiple search terms using Boolean operators (AND, OR).
5. Use limits such as dates, language, publication type, population group, etc. to reduce or refine your search results.
6. Search more than 1 database for best results.
Remember that searching for specific information can be a very complex process - the library is here to help you!
Contact a Librarian to assist with your search if:
What to include in your literature search request - to help the librarian better understand your request:
-Be as specific as possible when you describe your topic.
-Share various terms [including synonyms] that describe what you are needing.
-Indicate the following: