Reflection on week 2 of the LIHNN Literature Searching MOOC

16 10 2015

I’ve found it more difficult this week to get round to doing the Literature Searching MOOC, hence why this blog post is being written on a Friday afternoon 🙂

This week looked at scoping a literature search and I found that a lot of the steps covered I tend to skip during a typical literature search – out of habit, or lack of time.  It’s been useful to look at those in more detail.  I am definitely guilty of “sticking with what you do” and the MOOC this week has highlighted some resources that I use less often, such as QIPP, that I’ll certainly look at again in the future.

The MOOC wiki arranges resources according to type of literature and type of question.  I can see how this will be useful in a practical way when conducting searches.  I was especially pleased to see the 6S model resources list , since here at Wirral we structure the layout of our search results according to the 6S hierarchy.

There was one quiz this week that I found really challenging! Participants were asked to identify the best level of evidence to answer a particular question and the quiz required you to figure out the type of question (e.g. prognosis, etiology) and then the best type of study to answer that question (e.g. RCT, systematic review).  I found this quite difficult as when faced with an incoming literature search request, this isn’t usually the thought process that I’d go through.  It certainly challenged my usual way of thinking!  It got me thinking that the questions that we are asked don’t usually fit very well into a question type, and increasingly aren’t clinical questions at all.  For example, this week I’ve been asked to find examples of leadership programmes for clinicians in Emergency Medicine.  So this way of thinking, although useful from a theoretical point of view, perhaps doesn’t always match the reality of delivering a literature searching service (for me, at least).

Another video featured in the MOOC this week (that I LOVED) was one that demonstrated how to use Boolean operators.  I’d really like to be able to use these videos in training and I wonder if an end-product of the MOOC could be a bank (or, dare I say it, a ‘library’) of training videos that people can use in training their end users.

Overall, this was another thought-provoking week on the MOOC and I look forward to the next!

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