With the size and sophistication of the PubMed database, it helps your efficiency and effectiveness as a searcher to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are my top tips:
- Always start your search by defining a structured question. A question that will set you up for a good literature search is a PICO question - a question that includes the Patient or Problem, the Intervention, a Comparison (sometimes), and an Outcome.
- Perform a keyword search (two or three terms that you would use to define the topic). Next, look at the Search details box to see how your terms were searched. If necessary, you can modify the search in that box and click Search again.
- Use MeSH (medical subject headings) to focus your search. Adding MeSH Subheadings through the MeSH database can further focus your results. (Ask Erika or another librarian for help with this step if you don't remember how the MeSH database works.)
- Use the Advanced search option to combine searches in different ways.
- Use Filters to narrow your results to articles about pediatric patients. Click the Show additional filters link to Show the Ages filter.