I'm currently conducting a literature review into anatomical variations of the portal vein. I'm using OVID and just wanted to check whether this is an efficient search strategy.

This is the Search Strategy:

  1. Portal Vein*.mp.
  2. Portal System*.mp.
  3. 1 OR 2
  4. Anatom*.mp.
  5. variat* .mp
  6. variant* .mp
  7. 5 OR 6
  8. 3 AND 4 AND 7

To break it down: I used 1 and 2 as a way to capture any mention of the Portal Vein (or more general mentions of the Portal System) Then 4+5+6 are to capture any way that an anatomical variant could be mentioned, and 7 and 8 summate this. (mp = mentioned anywhere)

Is this an efficient search strategy? I fear that I may accidentally be missing relevant articles using the search strategy, although the number of articles that has been turned up is quite high. Are there any unnecessary clauses?

  • 1
    Go to your local research librarian and work with them - they know more tricks of the trade than you could imagine.
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 5, 2021 at 16:44