The need to consider the proximity of the heart when designing radiation therapy for cancer of the left breast.
Sample searches done in MEDLINE with Full Text.
View Your Results:
Use the Medical Subject Headings [MeSH] to find additional articles similar topics:
Consider your search results:
Are they too broad? (Too many results that are outside your topic criteria?)
Are they too narrow? (Do you expect to be able to find a larger set of articles?)
The results above are not a bad start, however, considering the prevalence of breast cancer, and the amount of research done on its treatment, one would expect to find more than 415 articles.
The example below broadens the search by including multiple synonyms.
View Your Results:
Use the MeSH terms to construct additional searches:
"A formal, reflective survey of the most significant and relevant works of published and peer-reviewed academic research on a particular topic, summarizing and discussing their findings and methodologies in order to reflect the current state of knowledge in the field and the key questions raised. Literature reviews do not themselves present any previously unpublished research. They may be published as review articles in academic journals or as an element in a thesis or dissertation: in the case of the latter, they serve to situate the current study within the field."
Options to limit (i.e. refine, or narrow) your Medline search are displayed in the left hand margin of the search results list:
Many (although not all) published literature reviews will announce themselves. Literature reviews may constitute the opening portion of a scholarly article, or an entire article may itself be a review of the literature on a given topic. Typically, the article's abstract (summary) will mention the literature review or the review of the literature.
Therefore, when searching for articles, use search terms (keywords) that relate to your topic, together with the terms literature AND review.
[Keywords describing the topic]
AND [literature AND review]