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Finding Information for Speech Pathology

A Library Guide to help with developing research projects in speech pathology (SPH516 and SPH526)

Introduction to MEDLINE

MEDLINE is recognised as the premier index of biomedical literature, and includes allied health.

The search tips below are for MEDLINE on the Ovid platform. Ovid provides access to a number of health, medical, and psychology databases. If you want to search other Ovid databases at the same time, please see Searching in more than one Ovid database at right.

MEDLINE has its own system of subject headings (thesaurus) - MeSH Terms - and includes the Map term to subject heading feature, which means you can check for and search by the official MeSH subject heading. See Using MeSH Terms in MEDLINE.

Much of the content in MEDLINE is also available, free, in PubMed. One advantage of using PubMed is that you don't need a subscription, so you will have access after you complete your studies.

If you are interested in the difference between MEDLINE and PubMed, the NLM has a fact-sheet.

See also the next page in this guide, on PubMed.

Introduction to Emcare

Emcare is a nursing and allied health database that is also available in the Ovid platform. It includes mainly evidence-based clinical content.

It has its own system of subject headings (thesaurus), and includes the Map term to subject heading feature, which means you can check for and search by the official Emcare subject heading. Note that, in Emcare Advanced Search, the default is to have this feature turned ON.

Searching by subject headings in Emcare is similar to searching by subject headings in MEDLINE, so see the page in this guide on Using MeSH Terms in MEDLINE.

You can search across MEDLINE and Emcare together - see the box at left on Searching in more than one database in Ovid.

Searching in MEDLINE and Emcare

Here are some tips on searching in Ovid:

  • The default is to the Advanced Search screen. There is only one line of search, so for more complex searches you will need to use Nesting (see Database Help > Search techniques), or run your searches individually and then combine them.
  • There are other Search Modes available. With Basic Search, you can simply type in exactly what you are searching for, and the results will be sorted by Relevance.
  • The default is to a phrase search so typing in speech therapy will search for that as a phrase.
  • There are many limiters available. Some of these you can apply at the time of your search, others - Additional Limits - can only be applied to a search you have already run.
  • You can do a Proximity Search: the proximity operator is ADJn, where n is the number of words you specify. Eg. "speech therapy" ADJ5 australia*.
  • MEDLINE is primarily an index, but does have some links to full-text. For results where there is no full-text link, click on the Find it - CSU link to search for the full article in other CSU Library databases.
  • Searches are recorded in the Search History panel which is above the Search panel. If you can't see all of your previous searches, click on the Expand button to the right of the Search history panel.
  • If you wish to permanently save searches, search alerts, or manage research, you need a personal account in Ovid. Here's how to set it up:
  1. At the top right of screen, click on My Account.
  2. At the right of screen, Create Account.
  3. Follow the instructions and prompts to set up your new account.
  4. Make a note of your login and password for future use!

For more on searching in MEDLINE, go to the page in this guide on:

For individual help with using Ovid, please contact the Library or use the Ask a Librarian forum on your subject Interact site.

Searching in more than one database in Ovid

The instructions on this page refer to using MEDLINE in the Ovid platform. If you want to search more extensively in Ovid, you can search across multiple databases at the same time. There are two ways you can do this ...

1. When already searching in any Ovid database, you can click on the Change link in the search panel, then select other databases in the tick-box menu. You will search across all the databases that are ticked.


2. Go to the Ovid menu of databases and select the databases in which you wish to search.

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