Let’s look at an example based on one of the PICO questions used in ASK:
The first step is to make a list of the key concepts to search for. In this example, the key concepts for the search strategy would be ‘cats’, ‘kidney disease’ and ‘diets’.
The next step is to think of alternative terms for each concept. Think about alternative spellings for your terms (e.g. UK English / American English spellings); synonyms – different terms with the same meaning; colloquial phrases, and related terms which you would like included in your results.
Be as specific as possible, and where you are interested in a largish area (such as kidney disease), list all the more specific topics (like types of kidney disease) that you want to cover. See below for diagrams showing how you may organise your major subjects and keywords.
|Chronic renal failure
Chronic renal disease
Chronic renal insufficiency
Chronic kidney failure
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney insufficiency