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Literature review: Documenting searches and reference management

Documenting and reporting advanced searches


See   for more information.

See also  sample search strategy from the Centre for Reviews & Dissemination.

The combination of concepts using the Boolean operators might develop as follows (for MEDLINE using the OVIDSP interface):


1       Hip Joint/

2       Hip Prosthesis/

3       Acetabulum/

4       hip replacement$.ti,ab.

5       total-hip replacement$.ti,ab.

6       total joint replacement$.ti,ab.

7       hip surgery.ti,ab.

8       hip operation$.ti,ab.

9       (hip adj3 prosthe$).ti,ab.

10     (hip adj3 arthroplasty).ti,ab.

11     1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10

12     exp Bacterial Infections/

13     exp Postoperative Complications/

14     Surgical Wound Infection/

14     Prosthesis-Related Infections/

16     Sepsis/

17     exp Anti-Infective Agents/

18     exp Infection Control/

19     exp Antibiotics/

20     Antibiotic Prophylaxis/

21       ((bacteri$ or wound$) adj2 (infect$ or contamin$)).ti,ab.

22       sepsis.ti,ab.

23       antibiotic$.ti,ab.

24       antimicrobial$.ti,ab.

25       anti-microbial$.ti,ab.

26       (anti$ adj infect$).ti,ab.

27       ultraclean.ti,ab.

28       hypersterile.ti,ab.

29       or/12-28

30       11 and 29



NHS Centre for Reviews & Dissemination. Systematic Reviews: CRD's Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Healthcare. York: University of York NHS Centre for Reviews & Dissemination, 2009.




Reference management


Referencing software will help you manage your references, but many products also offer the facility to format citations in your document as you are writing. 

EndNote is preferred for systematic reviews and by some disciplines e.g. Health Sciences