Before you start searching, take some time to think about what information gap you are trying to fill, or what question you are trying to answer.
It can be useful to ask essential questions:
Search concept tools, also known as analytical tools, can help you to define the question you are asking. These are often used in a clinical or health research context.
|Population / Patient||People with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease|
|Intervention||Music therapy or Singing or Making music|
|Comparison||Standard care or treatment as usual|
|Study design||e.g. Clinical trials, qualitative methods|
Richardson, W. S., Wilson, M. C., Nishikawa, J., & Hayward, R. S. A. (1995). The well-built clinical question: A key to evidence-based decisions. ACP Journal Club, 123, A12-13.
|Intervention||Information skills education|
Booth, A. (2006). Clear and present questions: formulating questions for evidence based practice. Library Hi Tech, 24(3), 355-368. doi:doi:10.1108/07378830610692127
|Phenomenon of Interest||Antenatal education|
|Design||Questionnaire or focus group|
|Research Type||Qualitative or mixed methods|
Cooke A; Smith D; Booth A; Beyond PICO : The SPIDER Tool for Qualitative Evidence Synthesis – Qual Health Res. 2012; 22(10) 1435-1443
Information specialists at the University of Leeds have helpfully presented a list of search concept tools and the originating articles where they were proposed and tested.