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Finding and Evaluating Tests and Measures


MEDLINE, from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is the premier bibliographic database containing references to journal articles in the life sciences. It forms a major part of, and is searchable via, PubMed.

MEDLINE can be searched through different interfaces. This tutorial will be using Ovid. Ovid's interface is chosen because:

  • It has similar content to PubMed, including the references in PubMed Central
  • Its search engine encourages a structured approach
  • Its mapping to subject headings tool is accurate
  • It has additional tools, such as proximity operators, that help with precision and relevancy

For more information on MEDLINE, visit the MEDLINE Guided Exercise.

Access Ovid MEDLINE here.

Finding and Evaluating Tests in MEDLINE (Ovid)


Just like in CINAHL, MEDLINE has subject headings you can use both to find and evaluate tests. Subject headings in MEDLINE are called MeSH terms. Learn more about MeSH and advanced searching in MEDLINE in the MEDLINE Guided Exercise.

Useful MeSH terms for finding tests include:

  • Data Collection
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

For evaluating tests, you can combine the name of a test with and AND with one of these MeSH terms:

  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Validation Studies
  • Psychometrics

Finding Tests

  1. Open Ovid MEDLINE to begin your search
    • If you want to begin with a broad example, you can search for Data Collection, but we will be more specific and search for "Surveys and Questionnaires". Make sure to wrap this phrase in quotations and select Map Term to Subject Heading.
  2. Enter your next search term. For this example we will search for quality of life. Make sure to Map Term to Subject Heading
  3. Combine searches with AND.
  4. Click Search.
  5. The results will show all of the results on your topic, quality of life that use either surveys or questionnaires as tests
Video Demo: Medline: Finding Tests