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Checklist

The assignment question

Do I understand the assignment / research question?
Do I need recent information?
Do I need an evidence-based answer?
Do I already know the name of someone researching on my topic?
Have I already got a relevant journal article or book?


Information sources

Is the information I need more likely to be in

a book
a journal article
a drug database
Cochrane Library
DynaMed or BMJ Best Practice or First Consult in ClinicalKey or Lippincott Advisor for nurses
A specialised free web resource such as OMIM, BLAST or dbVar
A website eg Ministry of Health, Health Quality & Safety Commission, bpac, Kidshealth etc


Databases

Do I know which is the best database to use to start my search?
Do I know where to find help if I am not sure how to search the database?


 Strategies for choosing search terms

Do I need to put a clinical scenario into a sentence?
Have I picked out the key words / concepts?
Have I thought of synonyms?
Have I thought of variations in the spelling or ending of my key words?
Do I need to spell out in full any acronyms or abbreviations?


Finding the full text of articles

Do I know how to find the full text of an article

from a reading or reference list?
from results in a database?
in Google Scholar? What do I do if it asks for money?


Pearl growing

Have I followed up on items in the reference list of a useful article?
Have I checked if a useful article has been cited since it was published?
Have I done more searching using MeSH or Emtree or author keywords from a useful article?


Referencing

Do I know which reference style I need to use?
Do I know where to find examples of my reference style?
Have I kept details of the items I want to cite or refer to?
Have I learnt how to use referencing software such as RefWorks?


Writing

Do I need to write an essay, a literature review, a lab report or something else?
Do I know how to write and structure an academic essay?
Do I know what a literature review is?
Do I know how to write and structure a literature review?
Do I know how to write and structure a lab report?



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