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PubMed

Your Results

If the results you see look good, select the ones that look the most useful by ticking the box next to them. Switch between the Most Recent and Best Match display modes, selecting records and using Send to to save records you have ticked to the Clipboard as you go.

Once you have sent records to the Clipboard, you can view them in the Clipboard link under the Search bar. You can lodge up to 500 items in Clipboard. Items saved in the Clipboard will remain there for 8 hours (unless you are signed in to a personal PubMed account). Items saved to Clipboard from different tabs in the same browser will be transferred between tabs: just refresh the screen to see them.
  1. Check the Article Types limits you have set to see if there are more appropriate options:
    • Prefer Systematic Reviews + Meta-Analysis to Review.
    • Consider what sorts of trial designs might ever be used for this group of patients to ensure your choice of limit is appropriate.
    • Think about what level of evidence is going to impress you in results you see.
  2. Try the Clinical Queries tool.
  1. Think about the terms you have used. If you can visualise how appropriate research will be done, this can often help to find keywords that will yield a better result. For example:
    • will the researchers talk about gait, or will they observe how patients walk and assess their balance and general walking?
    • the patient may have suffered hemiparesis, but the research may describe when in the affliction  assessment  rehabilitation process the research was conducted, i.e. post-stroke (or post stroke or poststroke).
    • training may be a feature of the rehabilitation process that can lead to the patient’s recovery of function.
    • PubMed - Change keywords
    • Because PubMed has the Clipboard function, it can be easier and more effective to try a few different sets of search terms, moving the best results to Clipboard as you go, than to try to craft a complex search strategy for a topic where there is a lot of variation in the terminology used.
  2. Think about how the terms you have used are represented in the search, and decide which are your foreground (most important – the words you will really look for) and which your background terms.

    • the concept of gait/posture+walking is a foreground term
    • the concepts of rehabilitation/recovery and hemiparesis/poststroke are background concepts

    You can use MeSH terms and specific field searching to represent this in your search:

  1. Reconsider the filters you applied to the results, e.g. check the Article Types limits you have set to see if there are less restrictive options; remove date limits.
  2. Click on the title of a relevant result and then click on the Similar articles link beside it.
    PubMed - Similar articles example
    Remember to right-click and choose Open link in new tab.
  3. Use broader terms to describe your concepts, e.g.
    PubMed - Use broader search terms
  4. Search fewer of your concepts. Sometimes you can just concentrate on the problem, assuming that possible solutions will be what motivates people to research and publish.
    PubMed - Use fewer concepts

If that does not work, ask for help.