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Literature searching explained

Save your search

Save copies of the useful records you find and where possible save a copy of your search strategy. This will ensure that you don’t have to repeat work.

Save the articles you find

Always save or print the useful article records you find. Most databases give you a few options, such as:

  • save – usually as a text file or an RIS file
  • print
  • email
  • direct export to reference software such as EndNote.

Generally you will not be able to download the full text of the documents directly from the database. In many databases you will have to follow the "full text" links. If the Library has a subscription, you will be able to download the article.

Save your search strategy

The database may have a free personal account feature that allows you to save a copy of your search strategy. Saving your strategy means your search can be re-run without you having to re-enter details.

Stay up-to-date with database alerts

Many databases will have auto-alerts so that you can keep up to date with any new research.

Find out more about current awareness services.

For more information about all of these features in the OvidSP databases (Medline, PsycINFO etc) see the advanced Medline workbook (PDF).