When you search library databases, you will use keywords related to your research topic. Then use the keywords to combine them using Boolean Operators into search strings (or phrase searching) to improve your search. Boolean Operators are simple words (AND, OR, and NOT) that are used to connect and define the relationship between keywords.
Remember that the database can't interpret what you mean, so you have to be clear and specific with your searches in order to control the results.
Used to frame and answer a clinical or health care related question. The PICO acronym stands for P - patient, problem or population; I - intervention; C - comparison, control or comparator; O - outcome.
PubMed Health Glossary (Source: Wikipedia)
Related terms: PICOT, PICOS, PICOTS
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) is the NLM controlled vocabulary thesaurus used for indexing articles for PubMed. You can use these in combination with keywords in your searching.
MeSH Vocabulary includes four types of terms:
Truncation is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.
|Symbol||What it does||Sample search||Instead of typing|
|*||replaces zero or more letters at the end of a word
(this is truncation)
|comput*||computer OR computing OR computational OR...|
|#||replaces at most one letter||ne#t||net OR neat OR next OR nest OR...|
|?||replaces only one letter||b?t||bat OR bet OR bit OR bot OR but OR...|
REMEMBER: Some databases may use these symbols differently or may use different symbols, so check the database's help section if you're having problems with wildcards.