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How to Search in the Health Sciences: Did you get what you need?

Too much?

1. Review your search strategy and see if you can be more specific or add in other concepts to help narrow your search.

2. Check to see if you have used your boolean operators correctly.  Remember: OR broadens your search and AND narrows your search.

3. Narrow your results by using Limits / Filters.

4. Consider using Subject Headings in your search rather than Keywords.

5. If you are using keywords consider using phrases if possible.

6. Consider searching specific fields looking for information.

Too little?

1. Review your search strategy to see if you can think of any more synonymous terms to OR together.

2. Check to see if you have used your boolean operators correctly.  Remember: OR broadens your search and AND narrows your search.

3. If you have used Filters / Limits, review these to see if you can use fewer.

4. Consider using truncation in your search to include all possible endings for the root of a word (e.g. therap*).

5. If you have just one or two really good articles on your topic and you can't find anymore.  Consider using Citation Tracking to help track down more.

Didn't get the results you wanted or expected?

When you search a database and do not get the results you expect, ask us for advice by...

Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library (University of Manitoba) --- ph. 204-789-3342 |