There are eight distinct steps that will assist you in moving through a literature search.
NOTto refine or broaden your search.
Are you interested in different types of reviews? See our guidance on performing specific types of literature reviews.
For a question about how hand washing affects infection rates in a hospital setting, the PICO format might look like this:
For a question about the effectiveness of extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, the PICO format might look like this:
Use the worksheets linked above to build and document your search. You are able to download, fill the form, and save the document.
For more on formulating your research question, and for using frameworks other than PICO, see our Formulating Your Research Question.
For more on how to identify search terms, see our page on Choosing Search Terms.
For more on combining search terms and concepts, see our page on Combining Search Concepts.
For more on expert searching, see our Expert Searching Guide.