There are two possible methods you can use to divide a research question into search aspects: the Building Blocks method and the PICO method.
When using the Building blocks method, you divide your question into aspects. This involves extracting the keywords that can be used to find articles. These aspects form the basic parts for your search strategy. Take, for example, the following research question:
Why is geriatrics not a popular career choice for medical students? Which aspects of this question do we need to use in order to search for potential answers? The key concepts in the question are:
1. medical students
Decide which terms you could use for each of these aspects, and think of as many synonyms as possible.
This is an example from: Meiboom AA, de Vries H, Hertogh CMPM, Scheele F. Why medical students do not choose a career in geriatrics: A systematic review. BMC Medical Education. 2015 Jun 5;15(1). http://bmcmededuc.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/
The PICO method is often used when the research question is a clinical question.
Take the following clinical case as an example:
A 23-year-old male visits the Emergency Department where you are working as a surgeon. He complains of abdominal pain which started two days ago. The pain has been increasing in intensity since yesterday, and is concentrated in the lower right-hand side of the abdomen. The patient has a poor appetite, and feels nauseated and slightly feverish. You suspect he has acute appendicitis, and wonder whether using antibiotics to treat the appendicitis is a safe and effective alternative to the surgical removal of the appendix.
The following query can be formulated from this case:
Is using antibiotic treatment for appendicitis in adults a safe and effective alternative to an appendectomy?
When you analyse the question in this way, the search terms (third column) appear automatically.
This query can be divided into the following aspects:
The PICO method is very useful for finding literature on short clinical questions.
You do not always have to search for all four elements: You can often find the necessary information by filling in the P (patient) and the I (intervention). The C (comparison) and the O (outcome) are often difficult to describe in a systematic review, and adding a particular field or study type (diagnosis, therapy, prognosis, aetiology, etc) often proves to be more useful.
Find out more about PICO in this LibGuide:
NARCIS is dé nationale portal voor wie informatie zoekt over wetenschappers en hun werk. Naast wetenschappers maken ook studenten, journalisten en medewerkers binnen onderwijs, overheid en het bedrijfsleven gebruik van NARCIS.
NARCIS biedt toegang tot wetenschappelijke informatie waaronder (open access) publicaties afkomstig uit de repositories van alle Nederlandse universiteiten, KNAW, NWO en diverse wetenschappelijke instellingen, datasets van een aantal data-archieven, alsmede beschrijvingen van onderzoeksprojecten, onderzoekers en onderzoeksinstituten.
Dit houdt in dat NARCIS (nog) niet gebruikt kan worden als ingang tot complete overzichten van publicaties van onderzoekers. Er zijn echter steeds meer instellingen die al hun wetenschappelijke publicaties via NARCIS toegankelijk maken. Op deze wijze kunnen de publicatielijsten van de wetenschappers zo compleet mogelijk worden gemaakt.
In 2004 is de ontwikkeling van NARCIS gestart als een samenwerkingsproject van KNAW Onderzoek Informatie, NWO, VSNU en METIS in het kader van de dienstenontwikkeling binnen het DARE-programma van SURFfoundation. Dit project heeft de portal NARCIS verwezenlijkt, waarin in januari 2007 de dienst DAREnet is geïncorporeerd. Sinds 2011 is NARCIS een dienst van DANS.
National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System
NARCIS is the main national portal for those looking for information about researchers and their work. Besides researchers, NARCIS is also used by students, journalists and people working in educational and government institutions as well as the business sector.
NARCIS provides access to scientific information, including (open access) publications from the repositories of all the Dutch universities, KNAW, NWO and a number of research institutes, datasets from some data archives as well as descriptions of research projects, researchers and research institutes.
This means that NARCIS cannot be used as an entry point to access complete overviews of publications of researchers (yet). However, there are more institutions that make all their scientific publications accessible via NARCIS. By doing so, it will become possible to create much more complete publication lists of researchers.
In 2004, the development of NARCIS started as a cooperation project of KNAW Research Information, NWO, VSNU and METIS, as part of the development of services within the DARE programme of SURFfoundation. This project resulted in the NARCIS portal, in which the DAREnet service was incorporated in January 2007. NARCIS has been part of DANS since 2011.