RMJ RESEARCH SERIES: LITERATURE SEARCHING|
Page, Cameron; Nsanzabaganwa, Christian; Walker, Tim & Cartledge, Peter
Christian is a year 5 medical student in Rwanda embarking on his first research project
I had never undertaken a formal literature search until my 5th year of medical studies, I was therefore very much challenged by how rigorous it was. For the fist time, I had to use websites like PubMed, Cochrane to find the information I needed. This replaced my usual sources of information which had been Wikipedia and Google. I then had to learn how to use a reference manager, Mendeley, to store and cite the papers I found. I was using it and so many terms I hadn’t heard of before. It was all unfamiliar to me.
I found it really difficult to find relevant papers in PubMed and because of the scarcity of papers and poor internet connection I found it really discouraging.
Organizing articles and summarizing them was the hardest of all. Multiple pages of conference reports, articles and surveys all were to be transformed into relevant systematically coordinated summary.
As a solution to these problems I used the Mendeley literature search which contains an abundance of articles. I then hand-searched the bibliographies of the articles I had found. To overcome problems of internet connection I would work in places with strong Wi-Fi and spend the whole day nonstop searching and downloading everything ready for offline reading and reviewing.
So, as a result, my research project got quicker, more organized, more comprehensible and I found this really satisfying.
Rwanda Medical Journal; Research series; literature; Search