Advanced Literature Searching in the Health Sciences

9 weeks total 2 - 4 hours each week recommended

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About this course

Master the fundamental components of advanced literature searching in the health sciences.

Informationist Mark MacEachern and a team of fellow health sciences informationists at the University of Michigan designed this course for anyone responsible for constructing literature searches as part of their research. This course will specifically help professionals and researchers in the health sciences improve the overall quality and reporting of their literature searches.

After completing the course, you will better understand the importance of literature searches in health sciences work, the components of effective searches, and best practices to sufficiently report the search process. All learners who rely heavily on past research in their project work – regardless of their experience or current competence – will benefit from this practical learning experience.


What you’ll learn

  • The components of advanced searches
  • How to identify the types of projects dependent on advanced searching
  • How to construct advanced searches
  • Ways to uncover search-related biases that impact projects
  • Procedures for citation management
  • Best practices for reporting search strategies

Meet your instructors

Mark MacEachern

Mark MacEachern

Health Sciences Informationist at Taubman Health Sciences Library, The University of Michigan
Mark MacEachern is a health sciences informationist at the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library. As an informationist, Mark teaches health sciences students about evidence-based practice and advanced search methodologies, and frequently collaborates with health professionals on review projects. In 2013, he co-developed the flipped, continuing education course Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians, which empowers information experts to engage in such projects, and lead the course through 2017. He has also been invited to join the faculty of the Medical Library Association's Research Training Institute, which will see its first cohort in 2018. Mark received his Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2007.

Jean Song

Health Sciences Informationist at Taubman Health Sciences Library, The University of Michigan
Jean Song is the Assistant Director for Academic and Clinical Engagement (ACE) for the University of Michigan’s (UM) Taubman Health Sciences Library (THL). She began her career as the Reference Coordinator at the Public Health Library & Informatics at UM and then moved to Pfizer Global Research and Development where she worked as a systems administrator and project manager for their document management and adverse event reporting systems. She returned to UM as the Bioinformationist for THL and a liaison to the National Center for Integrative Biomedical Informatics (NCBI). She then headed and built the Research and Informatics unit at THL and moved into her current role as the lead of ACE. The ACE unit at THL has responsibility for curricular integration and teaching and learning in departments across the schools of health sciences, expert searching and systematic reviews, and clinical information management services. Jean has her B.S. in biological sciences from Stanford University and her MSI from the UM’s School of Information.

Tyler Nix

Health Sciences Informationist at Taubman Health Sciences Library, The University of Michigan
Tyler Nix is an informationist at the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library, where he partners with health sciences students and faculty on education and research projects related to advanced literature searches, research impact metrics and tools, and data visualization resources. Prior to the University of Michigan, he was an Associate Fellow at the National Library of Medicine. Tyler received his Master of Science in Library Science degree from the University of Kentucky in 2015.

Judith Smith

Health Sciences Informationist at Taubman Health Sciences Library, The University of Michigan
Judy Smith is a Health Sciences Informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library (THL), at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Judy partners with faculty, students, and staff in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health. In that role, she works to integrate information skills and resources into the curriculum, providing numerous instruction sessions and consultations on advanced literature review techniques. Additionally, Judy engages with public health research initiatives, especially as they relate to health policy. She also serves as a point person for information needs at an interdisciplinary research complex, the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC), which houses the Institute for Health Care Policy and Innovation. Judy is also working with a team of informationists at THL on a mixed methods study to measure the library’s impact patient and population care. Judy holds a Master of Science, Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan.


9 Weeks

Experience Level


Learning Partner

University of Michigan

Program Type



Health & Safety Medicine Science Social Sciences