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Library PubMed Tutorial
|Children||Electric toothbrushes||Conventional toothbrushes||Plaque|
Next think of synonyms, alternative terms, singular/plurals etc.
for each of these terms.
List these new terms underneath your original terms.
Plurals, and British/North American spelling variations are worth including in your lists.
|children||electric toothbrushes||conventional toothbrushes||plaque|
|child||electric toothbrush||conventional toothbrush||dental plaque|
|.boys||sonic toothbrushes||manual toothbrushing||.|
How To Avoid Finding Too Many Irrelevant Citations
Check the MeSH database to find at least one MeSH for each concept you are searching.
Always try to include at least one MeSH in each column if possible.
This ensures that you include in your search all the citations indexed by that subject heading.
Add [mh] to this term in your grid to make PubMed search it in the MeSH field
Next search for the same term in the titles and abstracts of citations to journal articles.
Do this by searching
Add other search terms that might be used by authors in their titles and abstracts to describe the content of their articles.
Including other non MeSH terms for the concept will help you to find citations to articles that don't have a MeSH.
PubMed uses the asterisk *, as its truncation symbol.
Adding * to a word stem will get PubMed to search for terms beginning with the letters to the left of the *.
prosth*[tiab] will search for prosthetic[tiab] OR prosthetics[tiab] OR prosthodontic[tiab] OR prosthodontics[tiab] etc
It's usually best not to use truncation with a MeSH.
Your logic grid will now look something like this
|child[mh]||electric toothbrush*[tiab]||conventional toothbrush*[tiab]||dental plaque[mh]|
|child*[tiab]||sonic toothbrush*[tiab]||manual toothbrush*[tiab]||plaque[tiab]|
Entering Searches into PubMed
When you type your search in the PubMed query box, the terms in each of your columns must be joined by OR logic and enclosed in round brackets.
The terms from different columns are joined by AND logic.
Enclosing the terms from each column in brackets ensures that they are combined using OR logic before the AND logic is used by the PubMed program.
The search above becomes
(child[mh] OR child*[tiab] OR boy*[tiab] OR girl*[tiab]) AND (electric toothbrush*[tiab] OR sonic toothbrush*[tiab] OR power toothbrush*[tiab]) AND (conventional toothbrush*[tiab] OR manual toothbrush*[tiab]) AND (dental plaque[mh] OR plaque[tiab])
Remember to enter your terms into the PubMed search box not the MeSH Database search box.
Here are some of the results.
Now go to MyUni and answer Question 3.
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