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Health Sciences Literature Searching: Steps to Searching the Literature

Students and researchers in the health sciences often conduct comprehensive searches of the literature. The steps in this guide show how this process works.

Welcome to the Health Sciences Literature Searching Guide! This guide is designed to guide you to effectively conduct comprehensive searches of the Health Sciences literature.  You will be able to find useful resources for your classes and for writing research papers.

The resources in this guide are freely available to current BCIT students, and all faculty and staff.

Beginning your Search

When you are starting to plan your search of the health sciences literature, an important first step is to think about the type of question you are asking.

Choosing Databases

From the BCIT Library website you will access research databases, find how to connect with BCIT librarians and how to login, check the library hours, and much more.

If you already know an article for your research, locate access through the BCIT library. To find a known, specific journal article check if the Library subscribes to the journal here.

Boolean operators are used in library databases to refine searches. Let's understand the operators (AND, OR, NOT), with examples  on how to create a successful Boolean search.

Conducting a Search

Now that you've given some thought to what you will search and where you'll search, it's time to think about how to conduct the search. 

Using Subject Headings

Subject headings allow you to search the database more effectively and narrow down the parameters of your search.

Managing your Results

Once you've completed your research and before you start writing, you will need to organize your results, prepare your citations, and format your paper.

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Ask a BCIT Librarian that liaises with your program

#Biotechnology -- #Food Technology

Librarian: Ian Linkletter

#Basic Health Sciences -- #Biomedical Engineering --  #Cardiology & Cardiac Sciences -- #Clinical Genetics -- #Diagnostic Medical Sonography -- #Electroneurophysiology -- #Environmental Health (Public Health Inspector) -- #Health Care Management -- #Medical Imaging Technologies -- #Medical Laboratory Science -- #Medical Radiography -- #Nuclear Medicine -- #Nursing -- #Specialty Nursing -- #Occupational Health & Safety -- #Prosthetics & Orthotics -- #Radiation Therapy

Librarian: Ana Maria Ferrinho

Adapted with permission

David Nolfi

Sarah Hicks, MLIS.

This guide was developed by Ana Maria Ferrinho