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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Systematic Reviews (SR)

Developing your Search Strategy (Concept Table)

Before you start searching databases, answer the following questions:

  1. What is your Research Question?

  2. What are the key concepts in your question?

  3. Which language(s) do you want to search?

  4. What years do you want to include?

  5. Which databases do you want to search?

For each database you search fill in a search concept table

Blank concept table (pdf) developed by Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University

For each database, record:

  • database name
  • date searched
  • years covered
  • exact search strategy used
    • save strategy for future use (e.g. Save PubMed searches in MyNCBI)

 


 

Example:

concept tables for PubMed and PsycINFO for the research question Compare the effectiveness of acupuncture vs. hypnosis for smoking cessation

 

 PUBMED concept: concept: concept:
Database Thesaurus Terms

 smoking cessation
 smoking/prevention & control
 smoking/therapy
 tobacco use disorder/prevention & control
 tobacco use disorder/therapy

 hypnotherapy  acupuncture therapy
Keywords

 
 smoking
 smoker*
 

 hypnosis
 hypnotherapy

 acupuncture
 acupressure

 PsycINFO concept: concept: concept:
Database Thesaurus Terms

 smoking cessation
 tobacco smoking

hypnosis
hypnotherapy

autohypnosis

 acupuncture

Keywords

 
 smoking
 smoker*
 

 hypnosis
 hypnotherapy

 acupuncture
 acupressure

Selecting Databases

Journal article databases

Core:

Speciality:

For additional specialty databases, see:

Grey Literature: beyond journal articles (eg conference proceedings, dissertations, unpublished reports, etc.)

Other sources

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