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DPT 631: Clinical Medicine: Finding Information on Your Topic

A guide to support the PT 631 Tutorial Groups.

Library Search

Search articles, journals, books, media, and more

Getting To Know Your Topic

Recommended Databases for Physical Therapy

PDF vs. Find Full-Text

When you're looking at search results in a database you're going to see a few different ways to get to the full article, usually either...

 or  Find Full-Text green button

Both of these will take you to the article (if we have access).

If you see the Access Options screen below, it means we don't have full-text access to the article.  Try Google Scholar first to see if it's available for free.  If not, click Request via Interlibrary Loan.  We'll get the article for you from another library, usually within a few days.

Google Scholar & Library Resources

Set up Google Scholar to link to Simmons Library and to connect to the full-text articles we subscribe to for you.  

Use Google Scholar From On-Campus

Just access Google Scholar from any Simmons computer and the links will automatically be included.

Configure Google Scholar From Off-Campus

  1. Click on Settings link in the upper right corner of Google Scholar.
  2. Choose "Library Links" on the left, type Simmons University and click the "Search" button.
  3. If prompted, check "Simmons University - Check Simmons Full Text" from the list of results.
  4. Click the blue "Save" button.
  5. Start searching Googel Scholar with links to your library's resources (you'll need your Simmons username and password to get to the full-text).

Keyword Search Strategies

Brainstorming Keywords

Identify good keywords to use in your search by thinking about the main ideas inherent in your topic.

Consider using synonyms of your keywords to help find even more information. For example, if you are looking for articles about the benefits of online education, you might use the keywords and synonyms below:

 Keywords  Synonyms 1  Synonyms 2
low back pain lumbar
spine pain


women woman female


Searching for Keywords

Creating a grid like the one above can also help you enter your keywords when you're searching in the databases.  

Put each distinct concept (online, education, and benefit) on a separate line with AND in between, which will only give you results that mention all three of these concepts.  

Then add each set of synonyms to the same line and type the word "or" in between.  

For the keywords in the example above, your search boxes would look something like this:

Using Keywords and Subject Headings

All articles in databases are tagged with subject headings, to describe what they're about and connect you to other articles about the same subject.  Expand your search by clicking on one.



Streaming Videos

Watch these videos and more from these from wherever you are studying.