Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Lots of Needles in a Huge Haystack

I'm searching for my literature review. It's really hard to search thoroughly and systematically, trying to make sure I don't miss any papers. The searches take ages too. It's not as if I can just search something on pubmed, I then have to go through the citations and reference lists of everything that looks relevant until eventually I stop finding new papers.

It's a long long job.

I'm using web of knowledge and pubmed, but trying to think of other search engines to use. Does anyone have any suggestions. I tried Google Scholar, but it came up with thousands, upon thousands of results, most of which were totally random.

Although I have helpful supervisors, it's still really daunting to have to do this for the first time. I need to make a plan in the next 10 days to show to my supervisors so they can tell if I'm going in the right direction. I originally thought I would just have to plan the introduction and show I've done some searching and reading of papers, but it looks like I have to plan the whole thing including the results! Eek!

Although I should probably be working I think I'm going to take a little nap... Mr Sunshine has been waking me up at 5am every day. Not cool. Especially since the sun always seems to vanish by the time I actually have to leave the flat.

Lily xXx


alhi said...

I did a PhD and certainly was still finding material the day I submitted. You don't need to keep searching until nothing new crops up: that will never happen. Start reading some of what you have gathered and try and get a feel for the field. Once you have done this then you'll be able to gauge new material. But you need to stop thinking that you have to find anything.

Nikita said...

Hi There!,

I am just a mere nursie, but I love research and learning. Try Medscape, Univadis, Cochrane Collaberation - wealth of information on all these sites - and if I want to find out something imparticular - I put 'clinical' in to the search. Univadis gains you entry to a medical libary and searchmedica and also iGP. Try the GP sites - Pulse and HealthcareRepublik. The more you 'plug in' to sites, the more you will be directed elsewhere.

Good luck in your search for information - it is out there!

Nikita said...

PS. Also, as a mere nursie I can search BMJ for research papers which are unbelievably helpful. As a student doc you will be able to access more than me.