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PHM 606 Spring 2014

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Deborah Chiarella

on 1 June 2018

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Transcript of PHM 606 Spring 2014

Don't forget...I'm here to help!

Deborah McConnell Chiarella, M.L.S.
Coordinator – Education Services
Senior Assistant Librarian
Health Sciences Library
Abbott Hall
(716) 829-5753

Review of search techniques

Choose the correct source to find information
If you are going to use Google, use it efficiently or as a “jumping off point” to get started. Don’t let it be your only source.

Use controlled vocabulary/subject headings to search. Emtree/MeSH.

Use Phrase searching to keep terms together “sleep walking”

Primary literature

Primary sources are original materials on which research is based.

For example:

Conference papers

Original articles

Photographs are also considered primary sources

EMBASE – Drug Search
EMBASE – Disease Search

Other Searches in EMBASE

Nesting with OR: When do I use it?

Broadens your search.

Connects two or more concepts.

Tells the database that any or all of the terms may be present.

Use brackets to tell the database that this is one concept
For example… (ambien OR zolpidem) AND (“sleep walking” OR somnambulism)

**this is called nesting a search…… retrieving either term **

AND: When do I use it?

Narrows your search

Tells the database that all terms must be present in your search

For example: Ambien AND “sleep walking”

Boolean Operators??

Form the basis of database logic.

Used to connect search words.

Can aid in broadening or narrowing your search.
Three basic operators are AND, OR and NOT.

Let’s try this in Embase, Medline and PubMed

‘sleepwalking'AND ambien

The Emtree tool?!?

Online database thesaurus integrated into Embase and is a very useful source of alternative drug nomenclature.

Controlled Vocabulary and Subject Headings : What difference does it make?

More thorough and precise way to search

Consistent and precise

Chosen by indexers

Saves time and effort

Can be useful when searching for related concepts

Medline/PubMed: What's the difference?

Medline is largest component of PubMed

PubMed is a database of indexed citations through the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health

Approximately 5,516 journals published in the United States and more than 80 other countries have been selected and are currently indexed for MEDLINE.

A distinctive feature of MEDLINE is that the records are indexed with NLM's controlled vocabulary

Online bibliographic database

Large pharmacological component

Contains citations, abstracts and full text of articles

Over 24 million indexed records from over 7500 journals
EMBASE.com combines MEDLINE and EMBASE

Can be found in UB’s list of databases or from the HSL homepage under the database tab. http://ublib.buffalo.edu/hsl

and the Deep Web

The Web covered by search engines

Traditional search engines cannot “see” or retrieve information from the deep web. (password protected information)

UB pays for access to deep web information (databases)

If you are only searching Google, you are only scratching the surface of the information available.

Along the way we will discuss….

Controlled vocabulary and why you should use it
What are subject headings and how you find them?
Search techniques:
Phrase searching
Boolean operators

More review

Use Boolean Operators: AND , OR , NOT

Nest terms together using OR (ambien OR zolpidem)

Know what you are looking for: Primary, secondary, tertiary literature.

Apply limits to help narrow your search

Don’t hesitate to ask for help!!

Tertiary literature

Distillation of primary and secondary sources.



Textbooks (can also be secondary)



Secondary literature

Not evidence, but commentary.

Review articles

Biographical works


Knowing what you are looking for...

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Literature:

EMBASE: Disease Search

To find information on specific diseases.

Subheadings unique to EMBASE allows for greater specificity, especially when combined with additional limits.

Mapping is always on in disease search.

EMBASE: Drug Search

To find information on a specific drug.

Unique features of drug search allow you to search by subheadings or routes of administration.

Mapping is always on in the drug search.

Limiting your search

In every database you have to option to limit your search.
Limits will vary from database to database.


How should you use NOT?


NOT eliminates all records that contain the term preceded by NOT.

NOT replaces the – (minus sign) when performing this operation in a database.
Getting the most out of AND, OR and NOT

Boolean Operators

Web Search strategies in plain English

Phrase Searching: why bother?

Instructs the database to search words together as one single concept.

Instructs the database that certain words must be directly adjacent to one another.

For example “sleep walking” instead of sleep AND walking ….two different meanings

MeSH Headings

MeSH – (Medical Subject Headings) U.S. National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary used for indexing articles for MEDLINE/PubMed
MeSH terminology provides a consistent way to retrieve information that may use different terminology for the same concepts


Controlled vocabulary
Need to know exact term
Database looks for subject in subject heading or descriptor field where most relevant words appear
If too many results, subheadings can be applied
Results usually very relevant to your topic


Natural language
More flexible
Database looks for word anywhere in the text – not necessarily relevant to your search
May yield too many or too few irrelevant results

Subject Headings vs. Keywords: side by side

Controlled vocabulary??????

Standard list of subject terms or descriptors
Also known as an authority list or database thesaurus
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) – NLM
Emtree – Embase
Embase – heart attack = heart infarction
MeSH – cancer = neoplasms

What it is and why you should know about it.

Controlled Vocabulary:


Allied health
Veterinary medicine
Clinical medicine

Drug research
Basic biological and human research
Health policy
Biomedical engineering
7500 journals
Over 2,000 biomedical titles not offered in MEDLINE

Embase and Medline: a side by side comparison of coverage

Embase, Medline / PubMed: A review

We got results…why use the databases?

Have you ever wondered how

Are you really searching the Web?


What we will cover today…

Google vs. Google Scholar : Why used databases when I can just Google everything.

Embase and Medline/PubMed - biomedical databases

Unique features and how to search effectively

Who am I and where to find me…

Let's try a search in

A search question:
Sleepwalking while using Ambien:

The FDA warns in its Medication Guide for Ambien, “You may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.”

Google Scholar

Deborah Chiarella, M.L.S.
PHM 606
Spring 2015

Locating Quality Information

How do you know what to call it?

Databases are indexed by subject specialists
Every paper is read and assigned terms
Terms are usually found in the abstract or title
More significant and accurate results

Deb's Superbowl Football Analogy!

Football – sports equipment

Football – game

Football – European

Some other important stuff:
Phrase searching
Boolean Operators

Deborah Chiarella, M.L.S.
Coordinator – Education Services
Senior Assistant Librarian
Liaison - School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Health Sciences Library.
Abbott Hall 110
AIM: DebChiarella
(Google UB HSL Pharmacy)

(Abbott Hall/HSL)
Page results/rankings are based on critera such as:

How many times does the word appear?

Is the term(s) in the title?
Is the term(s) in the URL?
You are only scratching the surface ........
What is it and why use it?
Choosing the correct database is the key to finding relevant information for your search.

If that doesn't grab you how about this?
What do you call this?
(That's right Canada, I've got your back.
They all describe the same thing!
How confusing!
It can help you choose your search terms...
"Study Links Ambien Use to Unconscious Food Forays"
"Ambien Linked to 'Sleep Eating'
Rare Cases of Unconscious Eating and Cooking Seen in Patients Using Sleeping Pill"
Or Pie and Ice Cream...
...(pie OR "ice cream")
english language
date of publication
clinical trials
type of publication

Audience Poll: How many people use Google FIRST to find information for assignments?
Try this: Using the drug
search look for adverse effects and ambien
Try this: Using the disease search look for diagnosis for "Tay Sachs"
click here to get the full text
Click here and fill out the form if it is a journal UB doesn't subscribe to. We'll get it for you at no charge!
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