Information Fluency

Putting It All Together

Now it's time to build your search string using a combination of keywords from Step 2, MeSH terms from Step 3, and search tips from Step 4. Remember to edit and refine your search as you go. 


("Adolescent"[Mesh] OR adolescen*[tiab] OR teen[tiab] OR teens[tiab] OR teenager*[tiab] OR youth[tiab] OR youths[tiab]) AND ("Depression"[Mesh] OR depressive[tiab] OR depression*[tiab]) AND ("Fluoxetine"[Mesh] OR prozac[tiab] OR fluoxetin*[tiab] OR sarafem[tiab]) AND ("Sertraline"[Mesh] OR zoloft[tiab] OR sertraline[tiab] OR altruline[tiab] OR lustral[tiab] OR sealdin[tiab] OR gladem[tiab])


Tip: You can use"Advanced Search" option in PubMed or a plain text file to build your search string.

Too Many Results

If your search retrieves too many results, you can limit the search results by

  • replacing general (e.g. vague or broad) terms with more specific ones
  • including additional concepts in your search
  • using PubMed's sidebar filters on the left panel of the results page to restrict results by publication date, article type, population, and more

PubMed's sidebar filters

Too Few Results

If your search returns too few results, you can expand your search by

  • browsing the Similar Articles on the abstract page for a citation to see a closely related articles generated by PubMed's algorithm
  • removing specific or extraneous terms from the search string
  • using alternative terms to describe a similar concept used in the search