Database searches for qualitative research

J Med Libr Assoc. 2002 Jul;90(3):290-3.


Interest in the role of qualitative research in evidence-based health care is growing. However, the methods currently used to identify quantitative research do not translate easily to qualitative research. This paper highlights some of the difficulties during searches of electronic databases for qualitative research. These difficulties relate to the descriptive nature of the titles used in some qualitative studies, the variable information provided in abstracts, and the differences in the indexing of these studies across databases.

MeSH terms

  • Abstracting and Indexing
  • Databases, Bibliographic* / standards
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods*
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / standards
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research / standards
  • United States