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Bioengineering: View lecture/workshop notes

Recap of BIEN 510 Literature Searching Lecture (Feb. 2017)

Search at least 2 sources to obtain a larger pool of relevant articles to choose from. Stop searching when you have enough material to support what you wish to write about or do. 

Derwent

  • use to search for patents, which describe inventions
  • brainstorm synonyms for each element (or concept) of your search topic
  • use the * symbol to account for variant word endings, e.g., cancer* obtains cancer, cancers, cancerous
  • combine synonyms with OR for an individual concept, and then your different concepts with AND
  • consider searching the components that make up the invention
  • review search example in Derwent (pdf)

Compendex

  • use to search for journal articles and conference papers in engineering
  • click on the “Thesaurus Search” tab to search each concept separately in Compendex to find the appropriate tag(s) (also called subject headings or controlled terms); searching with tags will increase the relevancy of your results
  • brainstorm synonyms for concepts when tags are not available
  • click on the “Search History” tab to combine tag and keyword (searching for your words in article titles and abstracts) searches
  • expand the “Controlled vocabulary” limit on the left of your search results to see the list of tags that are assigned to your set of results
  • tags are assigned in Compendex to describe the article at a general level; complement your initial tag search with a keyword search to check whether you missed anything relevant
  • review search example in Compendex (pdf)

PubMed

  • use to search for journal articles in the health sciences
  • select “MeSH” from the drop-down menu to the left of the search box to search each concept separately in PubMed to find the appropriate tag(s) (also called MeSH terms in PubMed); searching with tags will increase the relevancy of your results
  • brainstorm synonyms for concepts when tags are not available
  • click on the “Advanced” link below the search box to combine tag and keyword searches
  • review class search example in PubMed (video); another search example also available (pdf)

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