Objective: To understand the difference in efficiency and effectiveness of research article searches with and without using advanced PubMed search strategies.
Task 1: Basic Search Vs Advanced Search
- Navigate to the PubMed website.
- In the search bar, type “physical therapy AND stroke”. Note the number of results.
- Now, click on “Advanced” under the search bar.
- In the “Builder” section, set the first dropdown menu to “Title”, enter “physical therapy” in the box, and click “Add to History”.
- Again in the “Builder” section, set the dropdown menu to “Title”, enter “stroke”, and click “Add to History”.
- Click “Search #1 AND #2” to execute the advanced search. Note the number of results.
- Reflect on the difference in the number of search results between the basic search and the advanced search.
Task 2: Search Without MeSH Terms Vs With MeSH Terms
- From the PubMed homepage, type “rotator cuff injuries” in the search bar and note the number of results.
- Now, click on “MeSH Database” under the “More Resources” dropdown menu.
- Enter “rotator cuff injuries” in the search bar and click “Search”.
- From the returned MeSH terms, select “Rotator Cuff Injuries” by clicking on it.
- Click on the “Add to search builder” button, then click “Search PubMed” to conduct a search using this MeSH term.
- Note the number of results and compare with the previous search. Reflect on the difference.
Task 3: Search Without Filters Vs With Filters
- Conduct a basic search for “neurorehabilitation” on the PubMed homepage. Note the number of results.
- On the results page, use the sidebar filters. Click on “Free Full Text” under “Text Availability”, and “English” under “Languages”.
- Note the change in the number of results. Reflect on the benefits of using filters to refine your search results.
Task 4: Basic Search Vs Clinical Queries
- Conduct a basic search for “exercise therapy in osteoarthritis” on the PubMed homepage. Note the number of results.
- Now, from the PubMed homepage, click on “Clinical Queries” under “More Resources”.
- In the search box, enter “exercise therapy in osteoarthritis”.
- Ensure “Therapy” is selected and click “Search”. Note the number of systematic reviews found.
- Reflect on the difference in the number of results and the type of results found using the basic search versus the Clinical Queries tool.
Task 5: Search Without Using My NCBI Vs With My NCBI
- Perform a basic search for “spinal cord injuries”. Note down a few articles that seem interesting.
- Close your browser and re-open PubMed. Try to find those articles again. Reflect on the difficulty or ease of this process.
- Now, register for a My NCBI account by clicking on “Sign in to NCBI” on the top right corner of the PubMed homepage.
- Once registered, perform the same search for “spinal cord injuries” and save this search to your My NCBI account.
- Also, select a few interesting articles and send them to your My Bibliography.
- Log out and then log back into your My NCBI account. Navigate to your saved search and your bibliography. Reflect on the convenience of using My NCBI for saving searches and specific articles.
Task 6: Finding Citations Without Citation Matcher Vs With Citation Matcher
- Try to find a specific article by searching with this partial citation information: Journal – “Physical Therapy”, Year – “2022”, Volume – “102”, First page – “1”. Note how long it takes and whether you are successful.
- Now, go to PubMed’s homepage and click on “Single Citation Matcher” under “More Resources”.
- Fill in the given citation details and click “Search”. Note how quickly you are able to find the citation.
- Reflect on the difference in using the Single Citation Matcher versus a basic search to find a specific article.
- How did your search results differ when using basic search strategies versus advanced strategies?
- Which strategies were most helpful for finding the most relevant articles more quickly?
- How can these PubMed features help streamline your research process in the future?