Featured Resource: PubMed Special Queries
You are probably familiar with PubMed, the biomedical literature database produced by the National Library of Medicine. But have you explored PubMed's Special Queries pages? For many popular and timely topics, you will find that much of the research work has been done for you, and done very well by the librarians at NLM.
At the core of the Special Queries are pre-formulated searches of PubMed. These search strategies are intended to be comprehensive, and they far exceed what most researchers have the time and knowledge to create themselves. Topics covered include Health Disparities, Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Electronic Health Records, Comparative Effectiveness Research, Healthy People 2020 initiatives, and more. The Clinical Queries, a subset of the Special Queries, focus on three types of searches: Clinical Studies, Systematic Reviews, and Medical Genetics.
There are also filters that can limit searches to the core journals in medicine, nursing or dentistry. Note that some of these limiting strategies are available from the left sidebar on the PubMed search results page. To see the full list, though, you will need to visit the Special Queries page. On the PubMed home page, look for the link in the Pubmed Tools area labeled, "Topic-Specific Queries."
As if free, immediate access to expert searches was not enough, many of the Special Queries pages offer added value. The Health Literacy page, for example, offers a list of web-based resources on the topic. Health Disparities provides an extensive, categorized list of resources from NIH, HHS, and nonprofit organizations. What, if any, additional resources are available varies by topic.
Special Queries can be used alone or in combination with other search strategies. By using the limits in PubMed's left sidebar, you may be able to get a small number of relevant results from a single search. If your research topic is narrow, try using the Advanced Search to combine one of the Special Queries with a search of your specific terms. If you would like assistance in formulating a search strategy, contact the Lewis Library Reference Office (LIB-222, 817-735-2070 or Ask a Librarian).