Understanding Searching Techniques: From Pragmatic Searches to Searches to Inform HTA and Systematic Reviews Training Day, University of York


Literature searches are the foundation for many aspects of high quality health research and technology assessment; including systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and economic model development. This training course provides an introduction to searching techniques for project managers, research commissioners and new searchers, who are seeking a better understanding of how searches are constructed and adapted to meet the needs of various types of projects.

Developing search strategies to retrieve relevant research evidence requires knowledge of database features and skills in turning the concepts embodied in a research question into a search strategy. It also requires the search approach to be adapted to the research context; a search to identify inputs for rapid evidence development will have different requirements to a search for a systematic review.

The trainers are experienced information specialists, trainers and researchers. Their extensive experience lies in conducting literature searches to inform evidence syntheses such as health technology assessments and systematic reviews.


Course Details

Date: This course ran March 2016 and will run 2017.
Courses also run on-demand for large groups
Price: TBC. Registration fee includes tea and coffee, lunch and course documentation.
The training day will be presented by Hannah Wood (Information Specialist) York Health Economics Consortium, University of York
All courses are held at the University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD or Heslington East Campus, YO19 5LA.
For more details about this course email alicia.wooding@york.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1904 324084
Please see the frequently asked questions page for more general course information.

Workshop overview

View sample course agenda

By the end of the training day, participants will:

  • Understand how a search is constructed conceptually;
  • Understand how search strategies are developed and how this is shaped by the research context;
  • Understand the purpose of subject headings, textwords, Boolean operators, and truncation;
  • Be aware of the issues of sensitivity and precision and their role in different types of searches;
  • Be able to critique a strategy and appreciate key tradeoffs which have been made.

Who should attend?

• Project managers, research commissioners and researchers commissioning standalone literature searches or searches which form the basis of larger projects, who need to understand how to describe the search which is needed and to assess whether searches provided are fit for purpose;
• Researchers requiring a better understanding of how to specify searches and to brief information specialists to conduct searches;
• Searchers new to the field of evidence synthesis and the specific search approaches required.


YHEC Training Expertise

YHEC offers a range of training courses in health economics topics including economic modelling, evidence retrieval and information skills www.yhec.co.uk/training.

Our regular training programme offers courses in York in well-equipped rooms and computer classrooms.  All of our courses have limited delegate places available to ensure that sessions permit discussion and interaction within the group. We can also offer these courses and bespoke courses at your own site.

Other Health Economics Training at York: YHEC courses are generally introductory. Five-day expert workshops, distance learning and MSc courses in health economics are offered by health economists at the Centre for Health Economics and the Department of Economics and Related Studies at the University of York.


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