USF Shimberg Health Sciences Library

Search More Effectively

Search Strategy Development Process

Start with the Objective in Mind

Do you need to find quick answers to a clinical question for a specific case? Or are you beginning a systematic review? This will determine what type of search will suit your purposes best.

Define your research question clearly

You will run into difficulties if your question is too narrow (no results) or too broad (too many results). A clear and concise question will help you find that balance that is just right.

Think about what types of results you need

Are you hoping to find a guideline or meta-analysis of the literature on a question? Or do you want double-blinded randomized controlled trials? Knowing what you hope to see will help you use the best search terms and filters, and it will also help you recognize it when you see it.

Basic Search (Video)

22:17 minutes