Literature Search

  • The first step in developing a research strategy is to study previously published research literature on the subject and related subjects.

Literature Review:

  • Tells you what you need to know to design your study
  • Tells you what you need to know to understand and interpret your studyresults/outcomes
  • Helps you develop an unbiased, objective understanding of your topic
  • An extensive and complete review of the literature gives you the important perspective to see what has been done and where you are going-crucial to a well written, well- documented, well planned report.
  • A good literature search demonstrates the ability to search, identify and select materials relevant to the topic and which need to be reviewed at a level appropriate to the project.

Literature Search Profile:

  • Write down the topic you want to do search
  • Listing the key word and Search engine
  • Specifying the time period (articles which are published from which year)
  • Specifying the language (articles which are published in English, German, and Spanish etc.)
  • Specifying type of study you want to search (Case report, Case series, Randomized trials, and Review articles etc.)
  • Maintain accurate records

Some of the commonly used search engines:

  • PubMed (
  • Pub med is free search engine which comprises more than 19 million citations for biomedical articles from MEDLINE and life science journals. Citations may include links to full-text articles from PubMed Central or publisher web sites.
  • The core subject is medicine and field related to medicine. It also provides very full coverage of the related biomedical sciences, such as biochemistry and cell biology.
  • It is offered by the United States National Library of medicine at NIH as a part of Entrez information retrieval system.
  • You can also look at the PubMed tutorials to get more information about how to search in PubMed.
  • MEDLINE plus.
  • It is website network containing health information from world’s largest medical library, the United States National Library of medicine, in cooperation with National Institute of Health. It is updated daily.
  • OVID.
  • Founded in 1988.It includes growing lists of 1200 journal, over 500 books andmore than 200 databases.
  • EBSCO.
  • EBSCO provides online access to more than 150 database and thousands of e- journals.
  • The CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), data base covers the nursing and allied health literature from 1982 to the present. It includes selected and original full text material.
  • Currently abstracts of more than 924 journal titles are available.

This page can be downloaded in .pdf format here: Literature Search (1)