Medline 5 – Combining Search Lines


This screencast will show you how to combine
the lines in your search using AND, and OR, known in the library world as Boolean Logic
Operators. In Medline, lines of search are combined in
the search history section of the page here at the top. If you have used a structured approach to
searching throughout, you should have subject heading searches and textword searches for
each concept, all on separate lines of your search history. The goal of this search is to find all articles
that discuss the concepts of nursing homes and pet therapy. Before you combine your concepts, you first
want to combine all of the lines that are searching the first concept – in this case
nursing homes. When combining synonyms, we always use the
operator OR. So to combine all of our synonyms, click on
the boxes on the left side of the page here for every line related to the concept of nursing
homes, including both MeSH terms and textwords. Once you’ve done this, you can click on
the button here at the bottom that says combine with OR. This will add a new line to the bottom of
your search history, here, that shows the results of the combined lines from your first
concept. Another way that you can do this is using
the following code: OR/x-y. The numbers in this code correspond to the
lines that you want to search, in this case, lines 1 through 3 for our nursing homes concept. Combining your search this way allows you
to annotate your chunks by doing the following: [**nursing homes]. This keeps things clear and easy to understand,
and each of these methods will return the same number of results. Now we can repeat the process for each subsequent
concept: OR/4-5 [**pet therapy]. Now we have two new lines at the bottom of
our search history, one for nursing homes and one for pet therapy. From here, we can combine the concepts to
get our final results. When combining different concepts we always
use AND in order to find the overlap. So, you can click on each of your combined
lines, and then click search with AND at the bottom here. This produces another new line at the bottom
that shows the overall results of the combined elements. Again, another way that you can do this is
by typing 8 AND 9, to tell the database to search for lines 8 and 9. Note that this retrieves the exact same number
of results. To view the results, look to the right side
of the page, here under the actions column, and click on display results. Your results will display just below the light
blue box here under your search history. If you find that you aren’t retrieving enough
results or that you are retrieving too many results, you may have to add or remove a concept,
think of more synonyms, or make changes to your textword queries. Often a good search requires a few attempts
at different logical combinations and goes through a number of revisions. If you have any questions about combining
your search lines in Medline, please feel free to email us at [email protected]

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