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Systematic Reviews

Search Tips

Searching the PubMed, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE. and CINAHL databases is a little different than many other databases.

Follow these tips:

  • Search for one term at a time
  • Map terms to subject headings (for Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL)
  • Read the Scope Notes
  • Look at the Subject Headings Tree
  • When in doubt, Explode but do not Focus
  • Use Keywords when necessary
  • Combine terms with Boolean Operators
  • Limit/filter results as required

When searching for a systematic review it is important that you search across a range of databases, as no one database covers all the health-related literature. The decision regarding which databases to search depends largely upon the topic of the review.

For a complete list of University of California Davis databases search by subject or title with our Databases search function.