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Step 3. Plan and Execute Your Search

Now that we have a well-formulated question and know where to search, it's time to build a search strategy. We'll start with a basic strategy for quick searching, before moving on to a more advanced and comprehensive search strategy. 


In this section, you'll:
  • Learn how to conduct a quick and efficient search 
  • Construct a search strategy using keywords, synonyms and Boolean logic
  • Carry out your search strategy in a relevant database
  • Complete an advanced search using MeSH terms and Keywords

Speedy Searching

Sometimes you don't need a comprehensive search, just a quick search to find a few relevant articles. For further information on how to do a quick search, take our Search Skills I- Speedy Searching course

Searching in Summon:

Remember: The Summon search box (KRS homepage search box) searches the aggregate content from our licensed databases, journals we subscribe to, and chapters from select ebooks. It doesn't search point of care resources or the print catalogue. 

You can find the Summon search box on the top right corner of the KRS website homepage.


Begin by putting a few keywords into the search box. No need to use "And" or "Or" here. It's best to start broad and add in more concepts if you need to get more specific. For example, we can search for cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety.



Clicking search will take you to the results page. You can easily limit the results by clicking one or more limiters on the left hand toolbar. 



You can also check to see if we have the full text of an article in our collection through Summon. Simply put the title of the article (or include the author if the title is not specific enough) and click search. If we have the article in our collection, the title will appear in the first couple of results. If not, you will have to order it though our Request an Article form.  


Basic Search in MEDLINE:

Make sure the MEDLINE Basic Search is selected. As with Summon, no need to use "And" or "Or". Just include relevant keywords and click search. MEDLINE tends to be sensitive to "stop" words (to, all, for, the) so we've left out the "for" in this search. 



You can use the limiters in the box below to narrow your search by date, publication type, and more.  



Now that we've completed a basic search, let's conduct a more comprehensive search, starting by creating a search strategy. 


Here are some additional places to carry out a quick search:

  • Trip Database Pro: Turning Research into Practice: Trip is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care. 
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Cochrane Database of Systematic Review (COCH) includes the full text of the regularly updated systematic review of the effects of healthcare prepared by The Cochrane Collaboration.