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Useful tools

Here are some useful tools when searching for literature.

The tools on this page help you systematize, document, and evaluate your literature searches.

Forms

Search record

A search record is a record that documents what you have searched for, where you have searched, and when you conducted the searches. It allows you to note any refinements you have made and the number of results you have obtained.

PICO

A PICO form is a tool that helps you organize your search keywords. PICO forms are most commonly used in the field of healthcare.

Assessment of research articles

Assessing a research article
Peer reviewed?

"Peer review" is an academic evaluation of a research contribution such as a scientific article or a book. Experts within the field ensure the quality of the publication before it is published.

If it is not explicitly stated in an article whether it has undergone peer review, you can investigate whether the journal in which it is published is peer-reviewed.

Finding keywords

MeSH

MeSH stands for Medical Subject Headings, which is a system of medical terms that helps students and healthcare professionals better understand medical terminology. Using MeSH terms often makes it easier to conduct more precise searches in databases.

  • MeSH on Demand (enter title or abstract of an article, and receive suggestions for keywords)