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Advanced Literature Search Guide for Nursing and Health Sciences: Home

Advanced Literature Searching

This guide offers in-depth support for Nursing and Health Sciences students doing advanced literature searches for research and dissertation modules.

One-to-one support can be booked here. If you need further support, book in to speak one-to-one with a Learning and Teaching Librarian either face-to-face or online via Teams.

What is a literature search?

The literature search focuses on a single topic or research question which aims to cover all the available research relating to the question. It is conducted using one or more databases (usually 3) and requires the use of appropriate search terms with synonyms, related terms etc. It also includes an audit trail (usually presented in a table) showing how you refined your results and arrived at your final articles. 

Quick links

Below are a few useful documents to help you with your literature search. 

Useful books

Here is a list of a few books from the Library that can give you more information on literature searching.

Health Thesaurus

To help get you started with your search, we have created the Health Thesaurus below. 

It contains a range of health-related words and phrases, along with suggestions for alternatives. You can use it to give you ideas for your search strings. 

Click on the link below to download the Health Thesaurus. 

Example Literature Searches

Below are links to previous dissertations containing good examples of literature searches. A description of a literature search is sometimes referred to as a "facet analysis"

Nursing (2017)

Nursing (2018)

Nursing (WBL)  See p.6  for lit review

Mental Health Nursing (2016)

Acute Care Practice (2018)

Public health  See p.11 for lit review

Public health

Radiography - literature review (2018)

Radiography - Audit (2018)

SCPHN (2018)

All images included in this guide are available from Upsplash through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0