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Studies are individual studies or original journal articles (aka primary literatIncomplete 6S pyramid showing the bottom level of Studiesure).

The Evidence

Studies have not been critically appraised or evaluated by someone else for validity and quality of evidence. Therefore, you must be the one to read it, analyze it, and critique it. It is very difficult to answer clinical questions based on the information you find in Studies as you get too many results and have no time to critically appraise all of them. Studies, however, are good for locating information on rare or very new diseases or conditions for which there is very little literature.

Key Resources for Locating Studies

Many of the databases you used to search for literature for your Embark project fall into this tier, including PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and even Google Scholar. The only resource we will look at today is PubMed Clinical Queries, a pre-set filtered search within the PubMed interface.

PubMed Clinical Queries provides a quick and easy way to search for clinical studies based on your question type (is it a therapy, diagnosis, etiology, or prognosis question?). It does the work for you in finding relevant AND methodologically-sound literature by using pre-set searches.

The only strategies to searching Clinical Queries are:
  1. Make your searches simple (probably no more than 3 - 4 terms)
  2. After clicking search, select your category/question type (therapy, diagnosis, etiology, etc) and start your scope as broad
Screenshot of the PubMed homepage. The homepage features three columns with an arrow indicating the link to Clinical Queries in the center column. A screenshot of a sample search of influenza vaccine AND pregnancy is shown in the Clinical Queries search box. An final arrow indicates a dropdown list of clinical question categories: Therapy, Etiology, Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Clinical Precision Guides.

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