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EBM Literature Sources : Introduction

Use of this LibGuide

This LibGuide is used in the medical curriculum at UMC Utrecht.

More LibGuides

PubMed_logo

General information about PubMed (without assignments) can be found in the LibGuide PubMed LibGuide PubMed

The following LibGuides may also be of interest when you need help finding (medical) literature:

Storing search engines, databases and references: Personal Library!

TIP
If your head is swimming with all those different search engines and databases we advise you to bookmark them. Personal Library is the best place to do so.

After having logged in with your Solis ID you select your discipline with a selection of relevant databases and journals.
You can fill this personal library with other sources, books, articles, alerts from your own sources and search results under the References tab. You can enhance these references with summaries and metadata, and share them if you are working on a group assignment.

What will you find in this LibGuide?

Searching literature sources in the field of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) requires certain skills, but you can master them with the help of the information in this LibGuide. Unfortunately, it is not possible to search several sources simultaneously in one single search ('metasearch'). As each source has its own functionalities, such a search would lead to a loss of functionality of the underlying sources.

In this LibGuide you will be introduced to several major EBM sources: PubMed, Embase, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library. We will also pay attention to citation searching and reference management. These  subjects can be found under the tabs at the top of this LibGuide.

Where will you find EBM literature sources?

Sources in the field of Evidence Based Medicine can be found via the University Library homepage. Choose 'Search engines' and the discipline 'Medicine' to find a list of sources, divided into primary and secondary importance. 

Databases and journals paid for by Utrecht University can be reached from home via the library website. You can also log in with your Solis-ID beforehand.

The UBUlink of  the University Library automatically links the resultsin most search engines to the paid holdings of the library. This means you can click  through to full-text articles in journals to which the library subscribes directly. You will only get the UBU link when you access the search engines via Utrecht University Library!

Practical search tips

In finding the answer to a clinical question via the EBM method we have a few important tips to offer:

1) Always start with a fast and simple search to check if there is any information on your subject. Ask an experienced colleague about the sources you can use and about useful search terms.

2) As you will see in the assignments, there are many databases, each with their own options. Nearly all databases offer extensive tutorials: help to teach you how to use the databases. Check these tutorials to quickly find your way around.

3) At the moment, there are two important trends within EBM searching. The first leans (often unnoticed!) on the thinking of others. In that case use is made of filters drawn up by others. The second attempts a more open, creative approach to answering clinical search questions, where the focus is on your own thinking. In the end the latter method yields exactly those references which should be found, precisely on the subject of your question. If you have mastered this technique you will find that the number of articles you will have to read is limited to an effective minimum.

4) If you decide to use filters, limits etc. after all, do realise that you limit the final search results beforehand. We recommend you to apply filters, limits etc, in your last ultimate step. Especially in the case of filters it is important to stay aware of the way in which they have been put up. Always keep a critical eye!

5) Are you in search of articles which are available neither in electronic nor in print format in the University Library, check Google Scholar next. If this search does not lead to results either, you can request the article via the database PiCarta. For this you need an ILL account. This service is not free of charge.