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Systematic Reviews: Search for Literature

Step 3: Search for Literature

The goal of the systematic literature search is to create a comprehensive search strategy using multiple databases, grey literature, and unpublished studies to find all of the relevant literature.  The advanced search features of databases allow you to combine subject terms (i.e. MeSH) as well as keywords to construct a precise, transparent strategy.  Search strategies should be sensitive, rather than highly specific.  Ask a medical librarian ( for assistance in selecting the appropriate database for your discipline and utilizing the advanced features.  

Tutorials for Searching Literature

PubMed Basics:

Advanced PubMed Searching:

Introduction to Web of Science:

Advanced CINAHL Searching:

Advanced PsycInfo Searching:


Translating Searches for Systematic Reviews: