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Searching with Ovid Medline Health Sciences Library
Objectives Upon completion of this module the participant will understand: • Why searching with subject headings is beneficial. • How to search Ovid Medline with subject headings. • How to limit a search and access the results.
What is Medline? Medline contains over 16 million citations to articles found in approximately 5,000 journals. ● Many languages ● Both animal and human research articles ● Extensive coverage back to 1948 ● Searchable in either Ovid or Pubmed
Ovid Medline Basics To access Ovid Medline from the Health Sciences Library website, place your cursor over the Quick Links tab and click on Ovid MEDLINE.
Ovid Medline Basics Often our first instinct is to write out a search phrase like we might on Google. But this will often confuse the database and you will get few or irrelevant results.
Ovid Medline Basics Breaking up your research question into different topics not only makes the job easier on the database, it allows you to conceptualize your search more clearly. For example “Can music therapy improve sleeping patterns?” Becomes: + Music Therapy Sleeping Patterns
Ovid Medline Basics Conceptualizing your research question in this way may bring to mind further concepts that will greaten your search results. + Music Therapy Sleeping Patterns Music Sleeping Disorders Singing REM cycles
Ovid Medline Basics So how do we combine all of our concepts into one search?
Ovid Medline Basics If you do a keyword search the database will simply look for the same words in articles regardless of if they are being used with the same concepts as yours or not.
Ovid Medline Basics Luckily an actual person goes through the articles and gives them all subject headings to label the articles’ “aboutness”. This may seem like an old concept, but using subject headings creates a concise and consistent way to do research. …and we don’t need to use the actual card catalogs anymore.
Ovid Medline Basics Subject Headings are often thought of as resembling tree branches. Notice how subjects narrow into more specific concepts.
Searching Here’s an example of using subject headings to research the effects of music therapy on sleeping. Note that starting with “sleep” instead of “sleeping patterns” will yield a broader range of results. Click Search.
Searching We’re presented a list of subject headings that deal with sleep. For a definition of a term, click on its scope note.
Searching To view how a subject heading has been placed within the hierarchical structure, click on one of the linked terms and scroll down.
Searching To select a term tick the box to the left of it. Check the box to the right (if possible) to also search for all the terms under it. This is called “exploding.” For example, by exploding the term “sleep” we’re also searching with the terms under and indented from it. It’s best practice to begin a search by exploding all of your terms if you can to keep your search results broad. The box to the far right is used to “focus” the term, which means the term will be the main focus of the articles listed. Do not do this on your initial search because it is very limiting.
Searching Click each term you would like to use for the concept of sleep and click Continue. It’s a good idea to explode your terms on the initial search.
Searching If you only select one term, you will be brought to a page with a list of subheadings. On an initial search it is good to simply click continue without selecting any of the headings to keep the search broad.
Searching Clicking the continue button will present the search results, but we still have to combine the music therapy aspect of the search. So type music therapy in the search box and click Search.
Searching After going through the same process as before, we can decide which subject terms to use for Music Therapy. Click to continue without selecting any of the subheadings:
Combining Terms The results screen will only have the results from the Music Therapy Search; we need to combine it with the sleep terms. By selecting both terms and searching with AND we are telling the database to find articles with subject headings from both searches: Music Therapy AND (Sleep or Sleep Disorders)
Results The results listed will always be the bottom search shown in the Search History box. Note the number of results listed and that you have some options to limit these results. One of the most important results to note is the Ovid Segment. This is located above the search box.
Results Choose the dates you want to search within. Do not click on the ALL option. This will eliminate your ability to search with subject headings.
Results Use Limits to focus your search results Common limits are listed under the search box. Select Additional Limits to view all available limits.
Results Some of the result options are publication type, publication year range and age of participants/patients in the article. Scroll down and click Limit to run the search. You can scroll through all the different publications types, including Randomized clinical trials. Note that some limits will cancel each other out. For example, you can’t limit to both clinical trial and EBM review.
Results Do not limit to full text unless you are in a rush, because this limit will exclude any articles that we have full text access to within other databases. You will likely exclude many relevant articles.
Results To view the abstract and other information about an article, click on Complete Reference.
Results The complete reference will also list the subject headings used to index the article. If the article is spot on to what you were looking for, you may want to take note of the subject headings for further searching.
Results To view the abstract and other information about an article, click on the Complete Reference link. If Ovid provides PDF access to the article, click on the PDF link. To view articles that cite an article, click on “Find Citing Articles.” If there isn’t a PDF, don’t give up, you can still get the article! Click on the “Find It @Loyola” link.
Results After clicking the “Find IT @Loyola” link you will be brought to a page that looks like this. If the library has access to the article in another database you will see one or more links that will bring you to the article in another database. If Pegasus is the only link listed, this means the library may only have access to the article in print. Click on the Pegasus link to see what years the library has in the particular journal.
Results If we do not have access to the article, we will buy access to it for you by borrowing it from another library. This is called interlibrary-loaning. It usually only takes about a day or two. To interlibrary-loan an article fill out the form located here on our website:
Ask a Librarian! If you need any further help using Medline, don’t hesitate to contact a librarian. We’re here to help you! (708) 216-9192 firstname.lastname@example.org We will also do a search for you and email you a list of citations if you like. To do this, fill out the form here: