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Literature Searches

The library offers literature search assistance to support clinical practice and professional activities.

 

Information Specialists can conduct literature searches on behalf of our members and staff, or provide guidance to those undertaking searches themselves. See below for the types of searches we can offer support with.

 

Who can use the service?

  • Members and fellows of RCS England
  • Affiliate members of RCS England
  • Faculty of Dental Surgery: MFDS, FDSRCS, Specialty Member, Associate
  • Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK): Full membership, Associate membership
  • Joint: MJDF, Joint FDS/FGDP membership
  • RCS England staff

If your search is part of a defined activity for educational purposes (e.g. part of a requirement for a certificate or degree) then we will not be able to conduct the search on your behalf. Please see below for the support we can offer.

I want to conduct my own searches:

You can access training resources to help you make the most of searching Ovid Medline and Embase on the Ovid Training Platform.  Please email library@rcseng.ac.uk or phone 020 7869 6556 if you would like any advice or support.

We also offer a search strategy peer review service for those who want to conduct their own searches. If you have designed a search strategy and would benefit from peer review before you compile the results, Information Specialists can use an evidence-based checklist to peer review your search strategies and ensure the most effective translation of the research question for your research needs. We can advise on: MeSH/Emtree thesaurus headings, keyword terminology, truncation, Boolean and proximity operators, spelling, syntax, and line numbers, and database limits and filters. We can offer tailored advice for Ovid Medline and Embase, as well as Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL).

Please email strategies for review to library@rcseng.ac.uk (including details of the databases used and the aspects of the search you would like us to review) or to request further information on this, or any of our literature search services.

See also the below training guides: 

RCS Literature Search Service conduct your own searches using our databases

RCS Literature Search Service Guide to study types

RCS Literature Search Service Finding grey literature

I would like the library to conduct a search on my behalf: 

Surgeons require literature for a number of reasons so we have tiered our service to provide the most appropriate support:


  1. Quick search: aims to provide you with the relevant content to answer a narrow question, or to provide ~5-10 citations to support posters, presentations etc. It can also be used to find the most up-to-date information (i.e. the most recent systematic reviews on your chosen subject). Information Specialists will judge the right resource for searching and will provide a quick answer within a maximum of one week.
  2. Narrative search: a search with a much wider scope but a non-standardised methodology. This is suitable for scoping if you want to conduct research, for answering more complex clinical queries, for supporting developments in services, guidelines or protocols. This is a much broader search conducted on biomedical databases Ovid Medline and EMBASE, and others as appropriate. We will discuss deadlines as appropriate but usually require two weeks for delivery of results.
  3. Systematic search support: a high-level search of multiple relevant sources to identify all the evidence that meets the criteria specified to answer your research question. We will discuss deadlines as appropriate but usually require two weeks for delivery of results.
  4. Qualitative or mixed methods search request: searches may describe an intervention, but the research question focuses on the perspective of the individuals experiencing it as part of a larger phenomenon. This type of search is recommended for topics such as medical education or health management and policy topics. We also recommended RCS staff use this form for any internal literature searches.

Fill in the relevant web form below to submit your request.

Alternatively fill in the equivalent PDF form and email to library@rcseng.ac.uk:

RCS Quick search request

RCS Narrative search request

RCS Systematic search support request

RCS Qualitative or mixed methods search request

Information Specialists conduct searches using Ovid Medline and EMBASE and other sources where appropriate. We will respond to your request within two business days to agree a deadline for your results.

Search request web forms:

Quick search request

Narrative search request

Systematic search request

Qualitative or mixed methods search request

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