About NOSM Education Research Communities

Search Assistance & Research Consultations

Search Assistance Services are available, at no cost, to NOSM faculty, learners and staff. However, it is expected that learners perform searches themselves for any curriculum related assignments; librarians can provide advice on search strategies, assistance with terminology and guidance to/instruction on appropriate databases.

We also offer non-affiliates of NOSM fee for service literature searches. Please note, however, literature search services offered to non-affiliates of NOSM do not include searches for: systematic reviews, meta-analyses, scoping reviews or any of the other more complex/comprehensive search types.

Literature Search Services 

Fee for Service Literature Search

Systematic Reviews or Meta-Analyses 

Research Consultations

Scholarly Publishing Support Service

Tracking and Assessing Research Impact Service

Literature Search Services

A literature search is a well thought out and organized search for all of the literature published on a topic. A well-structured literature search is the most effective and efficient way to locate sound evidence on the subject you are researching. Evidence may be found in books, journals, government documents and the internet. 

Upon receiving a request for literature search, a Librarian will search related online databases, and provide a list of results to NOSM users, based on a given topic.

What to expect: 

  • A brief consultation will occur (usually via email) once the topic is received. The Librarian will clarify search particulars and provide an approximate timeline for completion.
  • The Librarian will utilize their expertise to search related databases for the given topic.
  • The Librarian will provide a list of references including authors, titles, journal sources, and if available, abstracts. The results do not include full articles. Results will be sent electronically via a RefWorks shared folder unless otherwise requested.

Please note that it is not the responsibility of the Librarian to select the most appropriate articles from the list of results.

How to request a literature search: 

Please use our web request form . A Librarian will follow-up within 24hrs (excluding weekends). If this does not occur, please contact askthelibrary@nosm.ca for further assistance.


Systematic Reviews or Meta-Analyses 

A systematic review attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question.  The key characteristics of a systematic review are:

  • a clearly stated set of objectives with pre-defined eligibility criteria for studies
  • an explicit, reproducible methodology
  • a systematic search that attempts to identify all studies that would meet the eligibility criteria
  • an assessment of the validity of the findings of the included studies; and a systematic presentation, and synthesis, of the characteristics and findings of the included studies

    In addition to performing the literature search necessary for this type of research, systematic review or meta-analysis collaboration with a Librarian may also include:

    • Help defining the research question
    • Recommending keyword and/or controlled vocabulary for inclusion in research protocol
    • Ability to target specific databases and other resources to be searched
    • Performing search updates in selected databases

    The Librarian will write the literature search methodology section for the submitted manuscript, maintain records of search results, and follow up with alerts and updates as needed.

    Librarians are co-authors on systematic review collaborations.

    How to request a systematic review or meta-analysis collaboration: 

    Please use our web request form . A Librarian will follow-up within 24hrs (excluding weekends). If this does not occur, please contact askthelibrary@nosm.ca for further assistance.

    Research Consultations

    Research consultations with a Librarian are available by appointment. During a consultation, you can discuss your research with a knowledgeable Librarian and get advice on search strategies, assistance with terminology and guidance to and or instruction on appropriate databases.

    During a research consultation the Librarian will assist you to do your own searching, whereas with a literature search request the Librarian does the searching for you.

    How to request a research consultation:  

    Please contact  askthelibrary@nosm.ca.  A Librarian will coordinate a suitable time for your consultation.


    Scholarly Publishing Support Service

    This service provides NOSM faculty, learners or staff with publication information that will aid them in making decisions about where to publish a manuscript.

    Simply send an email to askthelibrary@nosm.ca and include the following information:

    1) Brief description of the paper

    2) Intended audience, e.g. surgeons, family doctors, nurses, etc.

    3) Discipline(s), e.g. family medicine, oncology, etc.

    We'll then take the information you give us about your paper and use it to find peer-reviewed journals that fall within the appropriate scope/discipline/field. Should we need a few more details about your manuscript we’ll follow up with an email.

    From us, you can expect to receive a list of journals that includes the following elements of information for each title:

    a) Scope of the journal

    b) Journal impact factor, when available

    c) Where the journal is indexed, i.e. Medline, CINAHL, etc.

    d) If the journal is open access and if it fulfills the requirements under the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy

    e) A table of contents for the current issue

    f) Author/manuscript guidelines

    Tracking & Assessing Research Impact Service

    Granting/funding agencies are known to request journal impact factor information and or individual scholarly impact metrics – so, if you’re working on a grant and need this type of information, you’ll be pleased to know that the Library will compile and deliver these metrics to you.

    Simply send an email to askthelibrary@nosm.ca and include the following information:

    1. Full names of all your research team members.

    2. Outside of NOSM, other institutional/organizational/ university/etcetera. affiliations for each team member – for example, if you/team member also have an affiliation with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, include this information.

    3. A complete list of all the journals for which journal impact factor information is needed.

    4. An updated list of publications for each member of your research team or current CVs.

    5. Time frame to be covered for scholarly impact metric, i.e. last five years? Last 10 years?

    Once the above info is in hand, we’ll then provide you with tabular and graphical representations of the impact factor information you need for your grant. Should we require a few more details about your request, we’ll follow up with an email or phone call.

    Want to Learn How to Track Your Own Research Impact …

    If you are interested in learning how to track your own research impact, we are happy to set up a Research Consultation in which we’ll help you create a Google Scholar/ResearchGate profile or an ORCID account.

    For this type of support, you can also send an email to: askthelibrary@nosm.ca










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