Search operators are special characters and commands (sometimes called “advanced operators”) that enable you to improve your search strategies. Using search operators you can improve the precision and relevance of the results you find.
There is an example search strategy in the pdf below, which has been taken from a Cochrane Systematic Review entitled Dance movement therapy for dementia.
The strategy is also available to view in the systematic review appendices, available here: https://www-cochranelibrary-com.ezproxy-s2.stir.ac.uk/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011022.pub2/appendices#CD011022-sec1-0010
Subject Headings are standardised terms:
Assigned by expert indexers (humans not machines!):
Allows exploration of associated (broader, narrower and related) terms in subject tree:
Can help your search and avoid problems inherent in free text searching:
Not all databases provide subject headings or a thesaurus (e.g. Scopus and Web of Science do not):
Different databases use different subject heading thesauruses (Medline uses MeSH, etc):
Remember to check ‘Scope’ notes that explain the Subject Headings and explore the subject tree where you can explode or focus terms:
Search in stages (one concept at a time) and then combine results using Search History functions: