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Systematic Reviews: Constructing a Search Strategy and Searching for Evidence

Aromataris, Edoardo PhD; Riitano, Dagmara BHSC, BA

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: May 2014 - Volume 114 - Issue 5 - p 49–56
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000446779.99522.f6
Systematic Reviews, Step by Step
Continuing Education

Overview This article is the third in a new series on the systematic review from the Joanna Briggs Institute, an international collaborative supporting evidence-based practice in nursing, medicine, and allied health fields. The purpose of the series is to show nurses how to conduct a systematic review—one step at a time. This article details the major considerations surrounding search strategies and presents an example of a search using the PubMed platform (

The third article in a series from the Joanna Briggs Institute details how to develop a comprehensive search strategy for a systematic review.

Edoardo Aromataris is the director of synthesis science at the Joanna Briggs Institute in the School of Translational Health Science, University of Adelaide, South Australia, where Dagmara Riitano is a research officer. Contact author: Edoardo Aromataris, The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The Joanna Briggs Institute aims to inform health care decision making globally through the use of research evidence. It has developed innovative methods for appraising and synthesizing evidence; facilitating the transfer of evidence to health systems, health care professionals, and consumers; and creating tools to evaluate the impact of research on outcomes. For more on the institute's approach to weighing the evidence for practice, go to

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