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Nursing: Evidence-Informed Practice Search Module - Basic

Keywords - examples

Example: Keywords (or textwords) for cancer can include cancer / cancers / cancerous / malignancies / malignancy / malignant / metastasis / metastases / metastatic / neoplasia / neoplasm / neoplasms / neoplastic / tumor / tumors / tumour / tumours etc.

  • Note that cancer is a very broad concept that refers to many specific types of cancer as well, such as astrocytomas / carcinoma / chordoma / craniopharyngioma / ependymoma / esthesioneuroblastoma /  glioblastoma / glioma / leukemia / leukaemia / lymphoma / medulloblastoma / melanoma / mesothelioma / myeloma / myelodysplastic syndromes / myeloproliferative disorders / osteosarcoma / retinoblastoma / rhabdomyosarcoma / sarcoma / thymoma etc.
  • To search for a combination of textwords, combine synonyms with OR with the use of truncation/wildcards when applicable, e.g., in Ovid databases: (cancer* OR malignan* OR metasta* OR neoplas* OR tumo?r* OR astrocytoma* OR carcinoma* OR chordoma* OR craniopharyngioma* OR ependymoma* OR esthesioneuroblastoma* OR glioblastoma* OR glioma* OR leuk?emi* OR lymphom* OR medulloblastoma* OR melanom* OR mesothelioma* OR myeloma* OR myelodysplasi* OR myeloproliferative OR osteosarcoma* OR retinoblastoma* OR rhabdomyosarcoma* OR sarcoma* OR thymoma*).mp. etc.
    • Note that the asterisk is a fairly universal symbol for truncation, but other wildcards (e.g., replacing 0 or 1 character with ? in Ovid) will differ depending on the platform used (e.g., Ovid versus EBSCOhost versus Scopus versus Web of Science)
    • The search syntax for searching for textwords will also differ depending on the platform (e.g., (terms).mp. in Ovid can be translated as TS=(terms) in Web of Science)
  • Such a list of terms for a broad concept like cancer is far from exhaustive: Consider narrowing the focus of your question to a particular type of cancer, for example, when possible, or justifying use of broader terms only


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Sabine Calleja
Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering
Subjects: Nursing

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