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Literature Searching: What and Why?
Literature searching is the systematic review of published articles, data, books and reviews. Sometimes referred to as "evidence", this process is carried out with the intention of supporting or disproving a query.
Evidence based practice (EBP) includes literature searching in response to identified clinical or practice based questions.
It is important that researchers understand the characteristics of the databases within which they are searching.
Scholarly, peer-reviewed articles and quality research manuscripts can be found in databases organized and indexed using biomedical terminology and medical subject headings [MeSH].
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
Click on the icon above to access a quick reference for searching in PubMed with MeSH
MeSH and CINAHL
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Find MeSH in Biomedical Literature
Things to Consider
The Center for Evidence Based Managment (CEBMa) recommends that researchers consider the following questions in regard to published research and evidence. The process of evaluating evidence is known as critical appraisal.
1. Is the evidence from a known, reputable source?
2. Has the evidence been evaluated in any way? If so, how and by whom?
3. How up-to-date is the evidence?