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Course Catalog

340.802.81 Expert Searching for High Quality Evidence in the Online Environment

2nd term
1 credit
Academic Year:
2016 - 2017
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Claire Twose
Course Instructor:
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.


Internet search engines such as Google give the illusion that finding answers to most questions has become a relatively simple process. However, doing an expert, comprehensive and efficient search for peer-reviewed and other high quality academic articles appropriate for graduate level work or the production of systematic reviews of the medical literature requires a specific set of knowledge and skills. Addresses the competencies needed to complete comprehensive, systematic, transparent searches of the literature.

Introduces students to effective and efficient searching of the medical literature, in particular the skills and knowledge needed to produce an effective search in support of a systematic review of the medical literature. Discusses existing standards and evidence for these standards. Familiarizes students with software that helps with manage the results of literature searches. Addresses the competencies needed to complete comprehensive, systematic, transparent searches of the literature.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Produce a syntactically correct, reproducible search strategy in at least two core databases of medical information (PubMed and Embase)
  2. List existing standards for the production and publication of systematic reviews of the literature and supporting evidence for the importance of these standards
  3. Use several accepted styles of searching for medical literature and illustrate how to document them
  4. Search for abstracts, unpublished policy documents, white papers, etc.
  5. Use bibliographic management software to manage search results efficiently
Methods of Assessment:

quizzes 25%, LiveTalk participation 10%, class participation 5% and final searching assignment 60%

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Students looking to audit must submit a copy of approval of the audit request to the academic coordinator's office prior to registering.

For consent, contact: