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Funded Research Quick Start Guide

A guide of resources to help you plan your research projects and scholarship.

Search Strategy

Before heading off to the databases, it is important to have a search strategy in mind and to understand how that strategy might change with the different databases you search. Key components of excellent searching include:

  • A well-defined clinical question with an appropriate scope
  • Carefully considered keywords for each element of your question
  • Understanding search string logic, such as Boolean operators, parenthesis, quotation marks and truncation symbols
  • Awareness of which databases will be best to search to find the most pertinent information (not everything is in PubMed!)

One strategy for accomplishing items 1 & 2 is the PICO method. By defining each element in the PICO acronym, you can easily create a focused question and generate appropriate keywords. It can also help you to understand how to use search string logic to appropriately combine keywords and concepts into an efficient but complex search.

If you would like assistance in creating an efficient search strategy or workflow, please contact the librarians via and we'd be happy to schedule a time to meet with you.

Article Databases

Best Evidence

There are a number of resources, both free and purchased by the library, that are focused on finding systematic reviews, evidence-based guidelines and clinical trials.


Subject-Focused Databases

There are thousands of databases that index journals based on subject or topic. The library subscribes to hundreds, but here is a list of some of the most well-known and content-rich databases for the health sciences.

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