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Researching for your literature review: Save your searches

Save your searches

It is important to keep good records of the searches you carry out, to avoid having to repeat them if you need to make edits. You will also need to Save them to facilitate being able to run the searches, for each database that you are using for your review, on the same day. The best method is to save copies of your search histories within each database platform. This requires you to set up a free personal account in each relevant database.

You may also choose to create a spreadsheet or search diary to record the details of your searches. In this case, it is always best to cut and paste the searches so that you don't introduce errors when transcribing them.

Instructions for saving searches are in the Help sections of the databases. Or refer to the pdf at the top of this page.

Example: Setting up a personal account in Ovid Medline

1.  Login to Medline at At the top right of the screen click on My Account.

screenshot of the My Workplace link on the Ovid Medline home page

screenshot of the Create Account link in Ovid Medline    2. On the next screen click on Create Account

3.  Fill in the required fields, and then click Create.

Example: Saving a search strategy in Ovid Medline

1.  Login to Ovid Medline at

2.  Login to My Account. Click on the Search tab, and then carry out your search.

3.  When you have developed a good search strategy and it gives you a reasonable number of results, go to the Search History and click on Save All.

screenshot of the Save All button in Ovid Medline

4.  If you are not already logged into your My Account, you will be prompted to login.

5.  On the Save Current Search page, add a Search Name, Comments (eg the database or other details) and choose Permanent from the Type drop down list.

Choose from the range of options, then click Save.

screenshot of save search screen

Example: Viewing/ Editing a saved search strategy in Ovid Medline

1.  Login to Ovid Medline at

2.  Click on My Account to login to your personal Ovid Medline account

3.  Click My Workspace

screenshot of the My Workplace link on the Ovid Medline home page

4. In My Workspace click on My Searches & Alerts

screenshot of the My Searches & Alerts link

5.  Find the search under the name you chose for it and choose from the options available. Click the Eye icon to display the strategy, or the pencil icon to edit the strategy. To run the search, tick the box and click Run.

screenshot of saved searches screen