Searching Skills Toolkit / Edition 1

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Overview

The distinguishing feature of this pocket-sized searching skills book, like all the Toolkit series titles, is its user-friendliness. The guiding principle is that readers do not want to become librarians, but they are faced with practical difficulties when searching for evidence, such as lack of skills, lack of time and information overload. They need to learn simple search skills, and be directed towards the right resources to find the best evidence to support their decision-making.

A user-friendly, Hands-On guide to literature searching, which is an essential skill for all involved in health care research and development, researchers, and students from all disciplines.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A userfriendly, HandsOn guide to literature searching, which is an essential skill for all involved in health care research and development, researchers, and students from all disciplines.” (Companies and products – Data,
9 February 2013)

"Very useful. The authors are clearly experts in searching and they fill a gap in the market: there is no comparable book on 'the searching of the evidence.' ... [I] recommend this book to doctors who want to learn basic searching skills. As a medical information specialist I keep it in my pocket too." (Laika's MedLibLog, March 2010)

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael F. Strahan, BA, MLS (Northern Michigan University)
Description: This heavily illustrated, pocket-sized book describes sources and techniques for locating evidence-based medical information. The toolkit format uses 14 chapters averaging eight pages each, allowing readers to quickly cover basic literature searching skills.
Purpose: The purpose is to demonstrate tools for finding the best available evidence faster and more efficiently. The layout, design, and presentation help the authors fulfill these worthwhile objectives.
Audience: Although aimed primarily at nurses, allied health professionals, physicians, researchers, and students in the United Kingdom, the book thoroughly discusses resources available throughout the world. Both authors are librarians/information scientists in Oxford, have presented and published articles, and taught workshops in this area.
Features: The basics of successful literature searching are presented in a concise and easy-to-understand way. The second chapter, entitled "Where to Start," includes an informative table segmented into how much time is available to search — less than five minutes, less than one hour, and comprehensive search. The chapter also suggests sources, websites, and search engines as well as related chapters that address these resources. The discussion in chapter 7 of keyword/free text searching vs. using a thesaurus is a welcome addition. Clinical examples are used throughout the book, especially in chapter 9 on strategies for searching key databases. The book highlights key points using bright colors and varied illustrations, including flow charts, screen shots with call outs, and a table summarizing truncation/Boolean/wildcards for the major database vendors. It lists only 16 further readings but has a well written glossary and two helpful appendixes (tips for searching and tips for teaching). Despite these many useful features, the book contains old data (1999-2006), incorrect database years of coverage, and discussion of obsolete software (e.g., ProCite). Some illustrations are inadequate due to size, image quality, or overuse of graphic overlays.
Assessment: This well written book addresses all aspects of literature searching. Its size and focus make it valuable for the workplace, home, or classroom. Although some illustrations are difficult to read, they are useful. However, given its small size, the price might be a deterrent to purchase.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405178884
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Series: EBMT-EBM Toolkit Series , #1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline De Brún, Librarian, National Knowledge Service, Oxford, UK

Nicola Pearce-Smith, Information Scientist, National Library for Health, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Oxford, UK

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction.

2 Where to start? Summary tables and charts.

3 Sources of clinical information: an overview.

4 Using search engines on the World Wide Web.

5 Formulating clinical questions.

6 Building a search strategy.

7 Free text versus thesaurus.

8 Refining search results.

9 Searching specific healthcare databases.

10 Citation pearl searching.

11 Saving/recording citations for future use.

12 Critical appraisal.

13 Further reading by topic or PubMed ID.

14 Glossary of terms.

Appendix 1: Ten tips for effective searching.

Appendix 2: Teaching tips

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