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Expert Searching

Thinking About Your Topic

Getting Started

  • Gather background information. Work with an informationist to search relevant sources to see what's been written about your topic so far.
  • Consider your audience. Who might be interested in this issue?

Pro Tips

  • Identify a framework that works for your topic and stick with it. Aim for clarity.
  • Start documentation to keep all your ideas in one place.
  • Get input from collaborators, peers, and mentors.
  • Consult with an informationist so that you can complete a thorough search of existing research.

There are many different types of frameworks. Which one you use will depend on the scope of your project and which framework fits best. We have listed just a few of them below.


Selected Bibliography

  • Farrugia, P., Petrisor, B. A., Farrokhyar, F., & Bhandari, M. (2010). Practical tips for surgical research: Research questions, hypotheses and objectives. Canadian Journal of Surgery, 53(4), 278–281. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912019/
    • This article addresses the FINER Criteria, which stands for Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant.
  • Hanson B. P. (2006). Designing, conducting and reporting clinical research. A step by step approach. Injury, 37(7), 583–594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2005.06.051
    • This article outlines a solid approach to clinical research planning with the goal of publication in mind. The article uses the PICO Framework.

Research Question Frameworks

CoCoPop

Condition, Context, Population

Aromataris, E., & Munn, Z. (2017). Joanna Briggs Institute reviewer's manual. The Joanna Briggs Institute. Available from https://reviewersmanual.joannabriggs.org/


PEO

Population, Exposure of Interest, Outcome or Response

Aromataris, E., & Munn, Z. (2017). Joanna Briggs Institute reviewer's manual. The Joanna Briggs Institute. Available from https://reviewersmanual.joannabriggs.org/


PICO

Population or Problem, Intervention or Exposure, Comparison or Control, Outcome

Heneghan, C., & Badenoch, D. (2002). Evidence-based medicine toolkit. London: BMJ Books.


PICOS

Population or Problem, Intervention or Exposure, Comparison or Control, Outcome, Study Type

Methley, A. M., Campbell, S., Chew-Graham, C., McNally, R., & Cheraghi-Sohi, S. (2014). PICO, PICOS and SPIDER: a comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews. BMC health services research, 14, 579. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-014-0579-0


PICOT

Population or Problem, Intervention or Exposure, Comparison or Control, Outcome, Time

Richardson, W. S., Wilson, M. C., Nishikawa, J., & Hayward, R. S. (1995). The well-built clinical question: A key to evidence-based decisions. ACP journal club, 123(3), A12-A12.


PIRD

Population, Index Test, Reference Test, Diagnosis of Interest

Aromataris, E., & Munn, Z. (2017). Joanna Briggs Institute reviewer's manual. The Joanna Briggs Institute. Available from https://reviewersmanual.joannabriggs.org/

PEO

Population, Exposure of Interest, Outcome or Response

Aromataris, E., & Munn, Z. (2017). Joanna Briggs Institute reviewer's manual. The Joanna Briggs Institute. Available from https://reviewersmanual.joannabriggs.org/


PICo

Population, Interest, Context

Aromataris, E., & Munn, Z. (2017). Joanna Briggs Institute reviewer's manual. The Joanna Briggs Institute. Available from https://reviewersmanual.joannabriggs.org/


SPIDER

Sample, Phenomenon of Interest, Design, Evaluation, Research Type

Cooke, A., Smith, D., & Booth, A. (2012). Beyond PICO: the SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis. Qualitative health research, 22(10), 1435–1443. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732312452938


SPICE

Setting, Perspective, Intervention, Comparison, Evaluation

Cleyle, S., & Booth, A. (2006). Clear and present questions: formulating questions for evidence based practice. Library hi tech. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378830610692127

CLIP

Client Group, Location, Improvement or Information or Innovation, Professionals


ECLIPSE

Expectation, Client Group, Location, Impact, Professionals, Service

Wildridge, V., & Bell, L. (2002). How CLIP became ECLIPSE: a mnemonic to assist in searching for health policy/management information. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 19(2), 113-115. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1471-1842.2002.00378.x

PCC

Population, Concept, Context

Aromataris, E., & Munn, Z. (2017). Joanna Briggs Institute reviewer's manual. The Joanna Briggs Institute. Available from https://reviewersmanual.joannabriggs.org/


PIPOH

Population, Intervention, Professionals, Outcomes, Healthcare Setting

ADAPTE Collaboration. (2009). The ADAPTE Process: Resource Toolkit for guideline adaptation. Version 2.0. Available from https://www.g-i-n.net