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Syddansk Universitetsbibliotek - LibGuides

Health Sciences: Literature searching

Search techniques

Research Methods

Search history

Use an Ovid command
Conduct a complete search in an Ovid database and in the end write in the search field and the search history is shown.

Or click on

Search Filters

Search filters are a supplement to filters in databases. In some databases they can be insufficient or not containing what users might expect.
A search filter is a search string which can capture specific study types or specific topics.

Be aware of the fact that the use of these search filters may result in excluding relevant studies (Cooper, Varley-Campbell & Carter, 2019;. Leeflang, Rutjes, Reitsma & Bossuyt, 2006). Therefore, it is advisible to evaluate the filters before using them (Glanville et al., 2008).
Pay attention on factors such as sensitivity and precision when choosing a search filter (Beale et al., 2014).

We recommend using the search filters from the websites below, use it as an inspiration, not all are validated.

References on search filters:

Beale, S., Duffy, S., Glanville, J., Lefebvre, C., Wright, D., McCool, R., . . . Smith, L. (2014). Choosing and using methodological search filters: searchers' views. Health Info Libr J, 31(2), 133-147. doi:10.1111/hir.12062

Cooper, C., Varley-Campbell, J., & Carter, P. (2019). Established search filters may miss studies when identifying randomized controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 112, 12-19. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2019.04.002

Glanville, J., Bayliss, S., Booth, A., Dundar, Y., Fernandes, H., Fleeman, N. D., . . . Welch, K. (2008). So many filters, so little time: the development of a search filter appraisal checklist. J Med Libr Assoc, 96(4), 356-361. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.96.4.011.

Glanville J, Foxlee R, Wisniewski S, Noel-Storr A, Edwards M, Dooley G. Translating the Cochrane EMBASE RCT filter from the Ovid interface to a case study. Health Info Libr J. 2019;36(3):264-277. doi:10.1111/hir.12269
Glanville, J., Kotas, E., Featherstone, R., & Dooley, G. (2020). Which are the most sensitive search filters to identify randomized controlled trials in MEDLINE?. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 108(4), 556–563. doi:

Leeflang, M. M., Scholten, R. J., Rutjes, A. W., Reitsma, J. B., & Bossuyt, P. M. (2006). Use of methodological search filters to identify diagnostic accuracy studies can lead to the omission of relevant studies. J Clin Epidemiol, 59(3), 234-240. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2005.07.014.

Literature searches and Reviews


The University Library of Southern Denmark offers students and employees at SDU and OUH, access to the software platform Covidence, which can be used for sorting and screening literature, quality assessment and data extraction in connection with systematic reviews.

On Covidence Libguide (danish) you can see how to use Covidence or use
Covidence official guides: 

Reference management

Publishing Agreements (OA)

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