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Conducting Research in the Health Sciences : Citation Searching

A guide to search strategies and tools for doing research in the health sciences.

Using Citations

You can use an article for more than just content.  Check to see:

  • If there are words/phrases in the subject terms or abstract that you can use as search keywords.
  • If there are instruments, tests or measures you want to use in your own research.
  • What else the author has written.
  • If the references (cited works) see usefully for your own literature review.
  • What other articles have cited this article since it was published.

Link Google Scholar to Simmons Library Resources

Google works with libraries to determine which journals and papers they've subscribed to electronically.  Once you configure the Library Links settings in Google Scholar, links to full-text articles will display in Google Scholar when they're available through Simmons Library.

Use Google Scholar From On-Campus

      To make these links appear, just access Google Scholar from any Simmons computer and the links will automatically be included.

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 Google Scholar with links to your library's resources (you may need to authenticate yourself to access these resources).

Resources for Citation Searching

The first two sources consistently offer "cited by" information, the others offers it sometimes.

Known Articles in Google Scholar

If you have an article citation (or title) and want to get to the full-text, consider using Google Scholar Advanced Search to search by article title and then using the Check Simmons Full-Text link to get to the full article.

Articulated/Smart Searching

It pays to learn how to execute articulated ("smart") searches in GS, especially for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. (In addition to a MeSH-enhanced PubMed/Medline Search.

insubject:"heart rate variability" intitle:("systematic review" | meta-analysis)

or the somewhat more permissive relaxed smart search:

insubject:"heart rate variability" intext:("review" | meta-analysis)

leveraging the power of the scope qualifiers "insubject", "intitle" and "intext" when coupled with appropriate Boolean operators.

It also pays to remember that GS is an "opportunistic" search engine, as it will try to data-mine any resources that could be of relevance rather than honing to the more narrow constraints of a formal PUBMED search (often providing riches not otherwise easily uncovered, so that its claimed lesser precision is not at all necessarily a disadvantage, as some of the discovered resources (like dissertations, commissioned monographs, peer-reviewed CMEs, etc.) could themselves - as I have often found - contain bibliographical references to invaluable materials not located through PUBMED, that could greatly enrich the quality of any paper using its technology.

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