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NUS: The Art and Science of Searching in Systematic Reviews

This course is useful for anyone responsible for searching literature systematically either for a systematic review or a comprehensive literature review.

Learn the fundamentals of systematic review searching, including strategies, information sources and methods to manage & report search methods across disciplines.

5 weeks
2–3 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Mar 1
Ends Jun 30

About this course

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This course goes beyond the traditional focus of Systematic Review searching to answer clinical questions. It introduces searching methods that can be applied to a wide range of disciplines including social science, environmental science, policy studies, sciences, health sciences and more.

NUS comprehensively introduces researchers doing systematic reviews to the search methods for searching systematically from start to finish, including concept modelling, synthesizing a search strategy, to managing search results.

At a glance

  • Institution: NUS
  • Subject: Medicine
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills:Policy Studies, Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Research, Environmental Science

What you'll learn

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The focus of this course is on the literature search process. It addresses the commonly faced challenges by offering practical tips and tricks to improve the overall quality and reporting of literature searches.

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Develop a focused research question
  • Select appropriate resources to search for relevant work
  • Construct comprehensive search strategies
  • Document the search process & manage the results

Week 1: Getting Started

Understand the importance of searching in systematic reviews. Know the steps in the systematic review process and the different types of reviews.

Week 2: Develop a focused research question (what to search)

Introduce the structure of a systematic review paper. Assess the feasibility, and scope of the research topic with preliminary searches. Develop a focused research question using question development frameworks such as PICO.

Week 3: Select appropriate resources to search (where to search)

Understand the evidence types available such as subscribed databases, grey literature, hand searches and other unpublished works.

Select information sources relevant to your topic / discipline. Develop a basic search strategy.

Week 4: Construct comprehensive search strategies (how to search)

Formulate comprehensive systematic review searches with step-by-step demonstration videos covering different databases.

Learn practical tips in conducting and replicating systematic review searches.

Week 5: Document the search process & managing the results

Understand where EndNote fits into the systematic review process.

Use EndNote to manage and document the search results from various information sources.

Frequently Asked Questions

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I am a social science researcher. Does this course help me to gather evidence for policy making?

Yes, this course will benefit all researchers as we cover a range of information sources across disciplines

If I don’t have access to some of the databases, can I still attend this course?

To fully benefit from the course, you will need to have access to most of the subscription-based databases covered in this course.

You may have access to some or all of these from your institution.

We also cover some of the freely available databases such as PubMed and Cochrane Library.

Can I complete the course and earn a certificate if I don’t have access to some of these resources?

Yes, if you do not have access to some of these databases, you can still complete this course and earn a certificate as the concepts assessed are covered in the teaching materials.

What are the assessments?

This course contains graded (quiz) and ungraded (knowledge check) assessments throughout the course to test your understanding of the topics.

How do I earn a certificate?

Attempt all the graded assessments and achieve 60% passing to earn a certificate.

What is the format of this course?

The course consists of pre-recorded lecture and demonstration videos with accompanying training materials.

Lectures are followed by assessments. The course is self-paced and covers five weeks of content

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