University of Southern California

TIPS FOR IMPROVING OVID SEARCH RESULTS:

Tip # 1

The default connector in Ovid is ADJ (meaning "adjacent"), rather than the AND default used in many other systems. If two or more words are entered without a connector between them in an Ovid database, the system therefore retrieves only citations in which the words appear next to one another. Adjacency searching is much more restrictive than using the AND connector. You may, of course, type AND between search terms in Ovid to override the default adjacency connector.

Tip # 2

Leave the Map Term to Subject Heading box checked on the main search page. When active, it allows you to take advantage of the sophisticated mapping function that automatically directs you to controlled vocabulary terms (Medical Subject Headings) used in the database to describe your topic. Note that the mapping option is offered only in the Advanced Mode of Ovid in databases with a mapping capability.

Tip # 3

Begin subject searching by entering only a SINGLE word or phrase at the Enter Keyword or phrase line and click on the Perform Search button.

Ovid will respond with a Mapping Display page listing up to ten controlled vocabulary terms most likely to be used for your subject.

Note: Although the words you entered will appear as the last entry on this list, we advise do not to check that box if you have checked one of the other listed terms.

Tip # 4

Select the Focus box if you want to limit your search to articles in which your subject heading is considered the major focus.

Tip # 5

Do not use the browser's "Back" button when the Continue, Return to Main Search Screen, or Return to Tree Display button choices are available on the Ovid screens. Otherwise, Ovid may not be able to maintain the continuity of your session.

Revised 11/20/08

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