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The Art and Science of Searching in Systematic Reviews

National University of Singapore via edX


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.


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Understand the evidence types available such as subscribed databases, grey literature, hand searches and other unpublished works.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

Taught by

Sukanya Naidu, Toh Kim Kee, Wong Suei Nee, Annelissa Chin, Lim Siu Chen and Stephanie Ng


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