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LKC website: Training & Research

Welcome to the Cairns Hospital Library & Knowledge Centre, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

LKC training

We offer regular, scheduled training sessions or "by appointment" in the LKC; in-service sessions at your workplace; or online training options for:

Overview of CKN | Searching databases | Introduction to EndNote | Searching for evidence

Contact us if dates and times don't suit. A statement of attendance is available for CPD / CME.

Tips for effective database searching

  • Formulate an answerable question
  • Plan your search and then test the search strategy
  • Think about search terms and subjects, related topics and synonyms
  • Use a step by step approach to track results and enable changes as you go
  • We recommend using both keywords and subject headings (or MeSH)
  • Book into a Searching databases session or an appointment with LKC

Understand the difference between using AND or OR to connect separate keywords / subjects or search statements.

These connecting words are referred to as "Boolean operators".

NOT is also another Boolean operator - it's used to exclude terms (eg Sexually transmitted diseases NOT HIV OR AIDS)

Other operators relate to proximity, eg NEAR or ADJacent (indicates the terms need to be in close proximity to one another).

When using keywords to search, remember that keywords are terms found anywhere in the database record.

Consider your keywords and how you will search them. For example:

  • American vs British spelling
  • Different word endings like singular vs plural
  • Different words for the same concept (eg teens, adolescents, youths)
  • Use truncation (*) or wild cards (?) to retrieve alternatives : eg child* (for child / children / child's etc) OR wom?m (women or woman) OR p#ediatrics (British vs American spelling)
  • For phrase searching use quote marks, eg "chest pain" or "shortness of breath"
    • Use single quote marks for 'phrase searching' in EMBASE
    • Do not use quote marks if searching SAI Global standards database
  • Spell acronyms or abbreviations in full

Subject headings may be added to a database record (called subject indexing).

Subject headings may also be referred to as "subject terms",  "descriptors" or "thesaurus terms" in different databases.

When you select subject headings the system will find any records that have matching headings.

Not all records in the database will have subject headings assigned. We recommend that you also include keywords in your search.

Consider using the "mapping" or "suggest subject" features within databases to find subject headings, eg Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).

Note: subject headings may change between databases to reflect the discipline or specialty.

You can rerun previous searches across EBSCO databases. If you rerun a search and get zero (0) results, check the subject headings for the specific database.

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Contact us

+61 7 4226 6679

cairns_library@health.qld.gov.au

FAQ: How reliable is that journal or article?

Referencing

CHHHS & TCHHS staff publications

Following is an RSS feed from PubMed for papers published with Cairns & Hinterland HHS, Cairns Hospital or Cairns Base Hospital author affiliations.

Click on Website link below to re-run the search.

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Following is an RSS feed from PubMed for papers published with Torres & Cape HHS, Thursday Island Hospital, Cooktown Multipurpose Health Service or Weipa Hospital author affiliations.

Click on Website link below to re-run the search.

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Following is an RSS feed from PubMed for papers published with Northern Rural Health Training Unit author affiliations.

Click on Website link below to re-run the search.

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P: +61 7 4226 6679 | E: cairns_library@health.qld.gov.au
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