Step 1: Define your research question. What do you need to know? Use the PICO (or PP-ICONS) method to help form a clinical question, if applicable.
Step 2: Determine the best resources to address your question. Check the library subject guides for databases in your subject area, or start with a general resource like PubMed.
Step 3: Identify your search keywords and controlled vocabulary subject terms. In the majority of cases, a comprehensive and systematic search of literature databases (PubMed especially) includes both controlled vocabulary and keyword terms (i.e. free text, natural language, and synonyms).
Step 5: Analyze the articles found of relevance to your topic, or use the PP-ICONS approach to evaluate the results.
Step 6: Download full-text from the resource using the PDF link or the Find-It button. If your article isn’t available full-text from the database, request the article from interlibrary loan – email@example.com.