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UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

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Literature Searches

The Queen Square Library aims to help our libray users to run their own effective literature searches and we offer training, covering a range of search tools, such as Pubmed, OvidSP databases, etc. Visit our databases page for information about the databases available & our training page to view the list of courses.

Moving beyond your initial search, you may also be interested in keeping yourself up to date with new literature on your chosen topic. We have provided advice on methods you can use to do this on our current awareness page.

What does the literature search service offer & who may use it?

  • For staff working at Queen Square - we can undertake one-off searches for staff based as the ION and NHNN. The service involves an initial meeting with you to identify keywords and any required search limits, after which we will search in a range of pre-agreed bibliographic databases to identify published articles for your topic area. Please email us in the first instance (at neurolibrary@ucl.ac.uk) to make an appointment.
  • For students on courses based at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. Performing a literature search forms part of your studies and so library staff cannot undertake this task for you. However, we offer a range of training courses to help you learn the skills you need to build successful searches. We are also happy to look at your search strategy and to offer advice about techniques you could use to improve your searches. Please email us in the first instance (at neurolibrary@ucl.ac.uk) and include full details of your search strategy.

When contacting the library to arrange an appointment, you should first prepare a list of your search parameters, for example:

Keywords: list the topics you need to include in your search, including any synonyms relating to your topic. For clinical searches, it may be helpful to consider the following criteria, as appropriate:

  • Patients or Condition (e.g. gender, age, disease)
  • Intervention (e.g. treatment, drugs, prevention)
  • Comparison (e.g. no treatment, alternative drug)
  • Outcomes (e.g. mortality, adverse effects, change in symptoms)
  • Limits: list any restrictions you would like to apply to your search results, e.g. date ranges, language(s), publication type(s).

Please note: the library staff cannot critically appraise search results, filter them against inclusion/exclusion criteria or obtain the full articles on your behalf; these tasks should be carried out by the recipient. When you have selected which articles you wish to read in full, you should obtain them using the library print journal and e-journal collections, or our interlibrary loan service for hard-to-obtain items (there is a charge for this service). Please ask us if you need advice on how to use these services.