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Optometry Resources: Research Tips

This library guide serves as the Martin and Gail Press Health Professions Division Library portal for the College of Optometry, directing faculty and students to the most helpful library resources and services for their academic program.

Find Articles using a Power Search in EBSCOhost

Search multiple databases simultaneously in EBSCO (recommended):

Choose the databases listed above.

("Choose Databases" link is next to word "MEDLINE' above the search boxes)

  • Biomedical Reference Center
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Cochrane Methodology Register
  • Health Technology Assessments
  • International Pharmaceutical Abstracts
  • MEDLINE (PubMed)
  • Nursing & Allied Health Collection
  • SPORTDiscus with Full Text

You may also limit your results:

  • Date range
  • Peer-reviewed (Scholarly) articles
  • Other- limits are listed below the search boxes in same window.



Find Articles in Other Recommended Databases



What about searching for psychological, sociological, legal or economical aspects of a topic?

1. Try using one of the Brainstorming visual aids to help map your topic.

2. Use NSU Databases to find articles related to your subject such as Education or Psychology databases.

Brainstorming & Concept Mapping

Brainstorming your topic will give you more search term ideas.

Here are 5 visual aids to concept mapping:

Practice Guidelines

Also see: Evidence-Based Optometry and Ophthalmology links below.

Keyword vs. MeSH Search Terms

MeSH searching=

  • Medical Subject Headings
  • National Library of Medicine's (NLM) controlled vocabulary for indexing PubMed articles
  • Precise searching
  • Finds what the article is ABOUT

Keyword searching (the default in any database)=

  • Finds your search terms mentioned somewhere in the article title or abstract
  • Article may or may not be ABOUT your topic
  • Broader searching- works well for topics not well-indexed in PubMed
  • Results can be narrowed using MeSH terms

To find MeSH terms:

  • Go to PubMed homepage
  • Use the drop-down menu at the top left OR the link in the bottom right of the window to search the MeSH database.

  • Once you locate your term on the MeSH hierarchy, check the box next to it and then use the drop down menu above the results to "Send To the Search Box with AND." You can then do a second search for another MeSH term and combine these terms in the search box.

Here is a link to a tutorial on searching PubMed using the MeSH database.

Another tutorial on combining search terms using MeSH.

And a tutorial on applying subheadings and other features of the MeSH database.


Getting Started...

1. FIND:

  • Articles:

      ---Search HPD Library databases online;

      ---Search Journal Finder by journal name to find e- journals

      ---Use the HPD Library Catalog to locate print or e- journals

  •      Books:

      ---Use the HPD Library Catalog to locate both the print and ebooks 

      ---Browse the bookshelves in HPD Library using the call numbers to find books grouped by subject


Read background information to find search terms:

  • Look up your topic in a medical dictionary or use the Credo Reference database and its concept mapping feature to find search terms
  • Find a book, ebook or journal with background information using the HPD Library Catalog
  • Browse the HPD Library book shelves by call number to find information about your subject

Identify search terms:

  • Plan a keyword search OR
  • Plan a MeSH search or any combo

Best Practices:

  • Use one word for each search box
  • Enter ophthalmology or optometr* into one of the search boxes
  • If you must use a phrase, put them in quotation marks or parentheses: "laser surgery"
  • Use truncation (Example: surg* will look for keywords such as surgeon AND surgery)
  • Don't use "effect of" or "cause of"- computer doesn't apply logic to your searches

Selecting your articles:

  • Look at the Subjects listed for each article as well as the article titles to make your selection
  • Articles will not "match" your search; they will contain elements of what you need that you will later compile
  • Choose articles based on how they apply to your topic instead of matching your topic exactly


3. Ask your Liaison Librarian for help at the BEGINNING of the research process!

Cite your Sources

Download the EndNote program version 16 to cite your sources while you write.


Also recommended: Citation and Style Guides

Common mistakes while researching:

1. Discarding resulting articles by searching for article titles that exactly match your topic.

  • You will miss important articles if you use this method to choose your articles
  • Look at the subjects listed for your article as well as their titles
  • You are looking for points related to your topic
  • Articles related to your topic will have data you can use

2. Searching with topics that are too narrow or too broad.

  • If your result list is too short, try broadening your topic. For example: change from Neuro-Ophthalmology to Neurology AND Ophthalmology
  • If your result list is over 1,000 articles, limit your search by date, subject or other factors

3. Missing citation pearls.

  • If you find an excellent article, try following the author or subject links to find more like it.
  • If a subject link has a slash indicating a subject heading and its subheading, click on the subheading. Example: Eye Diseases/*drug therapy
    - click on *drug therapy

4. Forgetting to save search terms that produced good results in Your Folder.

  • You can rerun your searches and uncover newer articles during your research time period
  • You may change the direction of your search and need to remember how you found your original articles

Keep your topic general until you have performed the research.

  • It is easier to pick your points after seeing what information exists in the literature
  • If you narrow your topic before researching too much, you may have difficulty finding the information

Peer Review

Articles that are published in peer-reviewed or refereed journals are recognized as scholarly contributions to their academic or medical field. You can identify peer-reviewed journals by searching for the journal title in Ulrich's Periodical Directory.


HPD Plagiarism and Copright Guide

My Folder

Every database has this option:

Setup an account on each database you search.

  • Store the articles on your topic to retrieve later from a different computer.
  • Save your search history to rerun it later.

The first time you will need to create an account. Helpful hint: use your nova email username and password for this account to help you remember the login information.

After you create an account, you can add articles to your folder or save your searches.

For EBSCOhost databases: choose Sign In to create your account. For PubMed choose My NCBI to create your account.

Find an Martin and Gail Press HPD Library eJournal

Type the full name of the JOURNAL.

Martin and Gail Press HPD Library Catalog

Search the HPD Library Collection for Books, eBooks, Print Journals:
Search the e-Book Collection only:

Browse the Book Shelves

NLM Call Numbers for Optometry
Sense Organs WL 700-710
Ophthalmology WW 1-100
Eye WW 101-170
Parts of the Eye WW 202-290
Refraction, Errors of Refraction WW 300-320
Corrective Devices WW 350-358
Neuromuscular Mechanism WW 400-460
Problems associated with Eye Diseases WW 475-480
Occupational, Traumatic Ophthalmology WW 505-525
Age Groups WW 600-620
Optometry WW 704-722.1
Clinical Departments, Units WW 200-225
Anatomy QS 1-132
Pharmacology QV 1-370

Use INSTEAD of Wikipedia

Finding Dissertations

Wolfram/Alpha Search