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Clinical Essentials: Guide

What You Need to Know

Tips for Medical Literature

Discover how to access full-text articles – watch our quick tutorial.

Retrieve full-text articles by title through UC Library Search.

Access anywhere: Connect with VPN for off-campus Library access. Click to learn more.

View the directions for setting up the VPN

Find the answer: Need the fundamentals? Use background sources. Need research evidence? Search article databases. Urgent clinical decision? Use point-of-care tools. Click to learn more.

Get recommendations for these information sources

Literature search checklist: Define your question. Select the key concepts. Gather search terms.  Compose the search statement. Search article databases. Refine the search. Click for a tutorial video.

Learn to conduct a systematic literature search – watch our tutorial

Less is more in search. Use fewer ideas for broader results. Focus on the problem and intervention concepts. Click to learn more.

Concentrate on the main ideas from your research question – watch our tutorial

Expand your search. Include: Synonyms, like hypertension and high blood pressure. Related ideas, like cancer, malignancy, and tumor. Word forms, like diabetes and diabetic. Spelling variants, like pediatrics and paediatrics. Abbreviations, like CO2 and EKG. Click for more types.

Learn how to gather keywords broadly

Supercharge your search: Expand with 'OR' and synonyms. Include more topics with 'AND.' Organize terms with parentheses ( ). For example, (aspirin OR acetylsalicylic acid) AND (heart attack OR myocardial infarction). Click to learn more.

Learn how to use advanced search logic – watch our tutorial

Go beyond PubMed. Explore more databases: Embase for biomedicine and pharma. PsycInfo for psychology and behavior. CINAHL for nursing and allied health. Web of Science for all subjects. Click for database access.

Access more databases through the Online Clinical Library

Trust your sources: Use tools to verify quality and detect bias. Cross-check facts. Click to learn more.

Discover critical appraisal tools and procedures – watch our tutorial

Tame citation turmoil. Use a reference manager. Click to learn more.

Discover the best reference manager for your needs – check out our guide