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Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

E-learning modules

These modules are designed to help you develop your skills in searching for published literature. 

Each module should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. Click on the image to start a module. 

Books for your research project

Doing a Successful Research Project

This straightforward, student-friendly guide contains all the practical advice for successfully undertaking a research project, leading students through all the stages of the research process. The second edition of this no-nonsense textbook supports students in conducting their own research projects, whatever discipline they are from. Describing processes, tools and strategies in a simple, succinct way, it supports the reader carefully through the planning and design stages, to implementation, analysis and completion. Doing a Successful Research Project is suitable for an interdisciplinary audience all over the world. It is aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking a research project or dissertation across the Social Sciences, Applied Social Sciences, Education, Health and Business Studies. It can also be used as essential or complimentary reading on modules on Qualitative and Quantitative Research and Research Design.

How to read a paper : the basics of evidence-based medicine

The best-selling introduction to evidence-based medicine In a clear and engaging style, How to Read a Paper demystifies evidence-based medicine and explains how to critically appraise published research and also put the findings into practice. An ideal introduction to evidence-based medicine, How to Read a Paper explains what to look for in different types of papers and how best to evaluate the literature and then implement the findings in an evidence-based, patient-centred way. Helpful checklist summaries of the key points in each chapter provide a useful framework for applying the principles of evidence-based medicine in everyday practice. This fifth edition has been fully updated with new examples and references to reflect recent developments and current practice. It also includes two new chapters on applying evidence-based medicine with patients and on the common criticisms of evidence-based medicine and responses. How to Read a Paper is a standard text for medical and nursing schools as well as a friendly guide for everyone wanting to teach or learn the basics of evidence-based medicine.

Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care

This bestselling book is a step-by-step guide to doing a literature review in health and social care. It is vital reading for all those undertaking their undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation or any research module which involves a literature review. The book provides a practical guide to doing a literature review from start to finish. This third edition includes: Even more examples of real life research scenarios More emphasis on how to ask the right question New and updated advice on following a clear search strategy Expanded guide to using a range of critical appraisal tools More coverage of how to write up your results Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care, 3rd Edition is essential reading for students at all levels within the health and social care field and a useful text for anyone new to reviewing and appraising evidence. Amazon reviews for the 2nd edition: "This really helped me complete my dissertation. Well set out, easy to understand and for literature review beginners a very good place to start." "This book has really helped me understand what a literature review is, and gives great insight into what is expected from your literature review." "Buy this book: it's a God send!" Over 25,000 copies sold "This deceptively small book provides a comprehensive, user-friendly, step-by-step guide to the development of a literature review. Key strengths are the clarity of expression and the logical flow of information. Chapters match the stages of a literature review, from start to finish. Useful examples and key questions will help to keep the reader on track. With this book as your guide, developing a literature review need not be a daunting or overwhelming task." Dr Merryl E Harvey, Senior Academic, Faculty of Health, Birmingham City University, UK

PRISMA

PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.

Full guidance can be found at: http://www.prisma-statement.org/

Step 1: Preparation To complete the the PRISMA diagram print out a copy of the diagram to use alongside your searches. It can be downloaded from the PRISMA website. You will need to print a copy for your totals, but you may want to print out a copy for each database you search as well. If you are using this system for a more advanced assignment, ask your supervisor whether they would like you to follow this system, or to specify totals for each individual database in your final PRISMA diagram.

 

Step 2: Doing the database search For each database enter each key search term individually. This should include ALL your search terms, including MeSH or CINAHL headings, truncation (like hemipleg*) and wildcard (like sul?ur) search terms. Combine all the search terms in the different combinations using boolean operators like AND or OR as appropriate. Apply all your limits (such as years of search, English language only, and so on). Once all search terms have been combined and you have applied all relevant limits, you should have a number of records or articles. Enter this in the top left box of the PRISMA flow chart for each database. If you have searched databases individually, add all the 'records identified' up and fill this total number in the PRISMA flow diagram which you will use for your coursework. Remember this process of adding up the number of records in individual database searches to a total  will need to be repeated at each step if you search databases separately.

PRISMA additional sources

 

Step 3: Additional sources If you have identified articles through other sources than databases (like manual searches through reference lists of articles you have found or Search engines like Google Scholar), enter the total number of records in the box on the top right of the flow diagram.

PRISMA diagram showing duplicates removed box

 

Step 4: Remove all duplicates To avoid reviewing duplicate articles, you need to remove any articles that appear more than once. You will need to go through all the records or articles you have found in the database and manually remove any duplicates. This is not easy to do if you have a large number of articles at this point. In this case you may want to export the entire list of articles to Mendeley/Zotero/EndNote (including citation and abstract) and remove the duplicates there. Enter the number of records left after you have removed the duplicate in the second box from the top.

PRISMA records screened

 

Step 5: Screening articles The next step is to add in the number of articles that you have screened. This is the same number as you have entered in the duplicates removed box.

PRISMA records excluded box

 

Step 6: Screening - Excluded articles You will now need to screen the titles and abstracts for articles which are relevant to your research question. Any articles that appear to help you provide an answer to your research question should be included. Record the number of articles excluded based on this screening process in the appropriate box (next to the total number of screened records) with a short reason for excluding these articles.

PRISMA eligability box

 

Step 7: Eligibility Subtract the number of excluded articles following the screening phase (step 6) from the total number of records screened (step 5) and enter this number in the box titled "Full-text articles assessed for eligibility". Get the full text for these articles to review for eligibility. 

PRISMA full text articles excluded

 

Step 8: Eligibility - Records excluded Review all full-text articles for eligibility to be included in the final review. Remember you should be left with 6-8 papers at this point. Take a note of the number of articles that you exclude at this point and enter this number in the correct box titled: Full text articles excluded and write in a short reason for excluding the articles (this may be the same reason used for the screening phase).

PRISMA articles excluded

 

Step 9: Included The final step is to subtract the number of excluded articles or records during the eligibility review of full-texts (step 8) from the total number of articles reviewed for eligibility (step 7). Enter this number in the final box. You have now completed your PRISMA flow diagram which you can now include in the results section of your assignment.

PRISMA final articles

 

Credit: https://guides.lib.unc.edu/systematic-reviews/prisma Adapted from GCU https://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/smile/searching/writingupyoursearchstrategy/usingprisma1/

Creative Commons Licence

PICO

Search concept tools can help you:

  • Structure your aim into a research question
  • Form your question and identify the key concepts
  • Break down your topic, and develop your search

Different search concepts fit better with different areas of study.