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Library Services Home Page

Library Services and Resources Descriptions

Literature Searches

Make a Search Request / Request a Search Consultation (Opens Email)

  • See below for what the librarian will expect in your email. You can also request a consultation or hands-on support for searches you are doing yourself.

Who Can Request Literature Searches?

  • All Northern Health staff, physicians, affiliated physicians and residents.

    • Exclusions: For staff - if you are taking an academic course via a university / college, please contact your academic library directly for support. Clinical students working onsite should also contact their academic library for help first (eg for NMP Flex). 

‚ÄčWhat Should You Include in Your Question*?

  • Provide details about your question concepts and their relationship to one another.
    • Question formats may include "patient/problem, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes (PICO)" or a description of the population and situation/context and interest areas to look at or outcomes that need to be addressed. Examples: 
      • Who is involved in the question? patient / patient group /population & what is happening with them (condition / situation / context / acute / community / pediatric etc)
      • Outcomes of interest are critical to reviewing abstracts quickly. Please include what you are trying to do / achieve / increase / decrease etc. When you include clear outcomes, you do not need to indicate "best practice for topic X" (too vague) - instead, define who / what / & which goals are related the situation in your question. 
      • You may clarify the study type of interest (Eg therapy / diagnosis; reviews)
      • Give any date parameters or additional context that will help with the search.
      • Include conversational language, clinical terms that relate to the question as you know them, and please spell out abbreviations in your question.
      • Ask a colleague in your subject expertise area to review your question and to see if it makes sense from another's perspective. 
  • Please indicate if you prefer to discuss your question first and the librarian will set up on appointment with you. 

*Check out the Literature Search Subject Guide for tools and instructions to develop your search.

What Happens After You Submit a Request?

  1. You will receive confirmation it has been received (By auto email reply from library account.)
  2. You may be asked for more information to clarify the search. 
  3. Urgent requests: Direct and immediate patient care only
  4. Non-urgent requests: Anything that is not needed for an immediate care decision. 
    • These are queued based on volume and with respect for project deadlines as much as is possible.
  5. You will receive:
    • A summary of search terms and databases/resources consulted
    • Citations and abstracts for review
    • Information about getting full text copies of articles