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The example research question is:

What are the effects of exercise on cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy?

The key words in this research question are:
cancer chemotherapy exercise

cancer AND chemotherapy AND exercise

Here are some easy examples of where to go and what to do when you are short on time, want a quick start, or don't need to do a detailed search.


Sometimes all you need are around five articles on a topic. To avoid being overloaded with results it might be useful to search for keywords only in the article title. You can do this in Google Scholar (using the Advanced Search), Scopus, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL Plus and the databases on Ovid (Medline, Embase, APA PsycINFO etc).

 

Stop and think

What are the effects of exercise on cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy? is a broad topic and you could find plenty of results. This might prompt you to think about the topic and adjust your search accordingly eg,

  • Do you want to research a particular type of exercise such as aerobic or walking?
  • Have you thought of synonyms to use in your search eg physical activity
  • Do you want to research a particular cancer such as breast cancer or colorectal cancer or lymphoma?
  • The broad topic might be fine but maybe you only want particular types of published research such as systematic reviews or review articles or only primary research studies.
  • Do you want every article published on this topic or only from the last 5, 10 or 15 years?

Refer back to the My assignment - help! modules to refresh your memory, and continue with the rest of the modules in Doing your search for more advice.


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