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Paramedic Science Subject Guide: Advanced Literature Search Guide

Advanced Literature Search Guide for Nursing and Health Sciences

Advanced Literature Searching

This guide offers in-depth support for Nursing and Health Sciences students doing advanced literature searches for research and dissertation modules. Tutorial support can also be booked here  1-2-1 Tutorial support (also available via Skype)

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. 

Steps 1  Background searching Step 2 Developing your question PICO and PEO  Step 3 Developing search terms  Step 4  Database searching  Step 5 Search techniques
Step 6  Refining and evaluating search results Step 7 Making your final selection Steps 8   Presenting your search results Step 9  Finding full-text

Dissertations - example literature searches

Link 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)

Useful textbooks


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