Part 4: Searching for a topic (continued)

B. Searching by Keyword

There isn't a MeSH heading (Medical Subject Heading) for every topic in the world. So sometimes Keyword searching is our only option -- especially if we're searching for a topic that's obscure or new.

Let's say we're interested in atraumatic restorative treatment. We type this and check "Map Term to Subject Heading":

atraumatic restorative treatment - box checked

Ovid attempts to map this to a Subject Heading:

Your term mapped to the following...

Ovid is offering a number of suggested Subject Headings. But we can see that Ovid isn't at all confident that any of them is right (this time it has NOT checked a box in the "Select" column, i.e. it hasn't given us a hint about what to select).

So, we read over the suggested Subject Headings. (And if we need more information, we can check their scope notes by clicking i.)

We conclude that while these Subject Headings may be related to our topic, none of them accurately describes our topic. E.g., Dental Restoration, Permanent is way too general -- if we selected this, we'd get thousands of articles that have nothing to do with atraumatic restorative treatment.

So our only option is to do a Keyword search for our term, by checking the box:

atraumatic restorative treatment - search as Keyword

After clicking Continue

we see our results (71 articles):

atraumatic restorative treatment - 71

Our 71 articles include, for example:

The tricky thing with Keyword searches is that we need to figure out what other terms the authors might have used for the same topic. For instance, some authors use the term "atraumatic restorative technique", so we would need to do a Keyword search for this term as well:

atraumatic restorative technique - 7


"Truncating" can often improve your results from Keyword searches. E.g., if you were researching canalicular adenomas, you could type:

canalicular adenoma$
By adding the dollar sign, you will get not only articles which have "canalicular adenoma" in the title or abstract, but also articles with "canalicular adenomas". (And if other phrases like "canalicular adenomaesque" existed, it would get them too!)

Part 4: Searching for a topic (continued)
C.  Searching by either Subject Heading OR Keyword

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