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Evidence-Based Medicine: Searching & Resources: Search Examples

Combining PICO Elements

PICO Element   Synonym    
obesity OR overweight AND  
chitosan OR   AND  
weight OR kilogram AND  
The search terms combined with OR in parentheses are searched first. The AND tells the database to join the OR phrases together.
(obesity OR overweight) AND (chitosan) AND (weight OR kilogram)

How it Looks in a Database

Different databases have different tools that allow you to combine searches that are performed separately.

Look for a Search History function that allows you to combine searches. 


With other databases, you'll have to manually type in the search string, as shown below:

PubMed clinical queries search example


What it Does

Using OR to combine words tells the database to return results with one or more of the search terms.

Using AND to combine the search strings using OR returns a focused search that has covered as many alternate terms as possible

Finding Full Text

Find the full text of an article within a library database:

1. In the library database, click on the link that says PDF Full Text, Full Text Finder, or similar.

2. If the library doesn't have the article in print or electronically, you will be directed to request it through ILLiad.

Find the full text of an article for which you have the citation information:

1. Click the Search for eJournal Titles button on the library homepage, and search for the journal title to check for print or online access to that journal.

2. If the library does not have access to the journal that you need, you can order individual articles through ILLiad.

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