using ovid faster and smarter

Did you know that Ovid’s search bar can be used like a command line? Its most common use is to type in search queries, but it can also be used to execute several time-saving commands.

Each command is preceded by two dots (..). These are what tell the database that you don’t want to search for terms, but do something different. Remember that there is no space between the two dots (..) and the command!

Part 1: Save and execute searches

  • ..sv ps(search name) will save your search permanently. For example, “..sv ps(Heart-Disease)” (without the quotes) to save the current search. The parenthesis are important — without them, the search will only be saved temporarily (24 hours). I like to periodically type in the same command above while working to save any updates to the search that I’m working on.
  • ..e <saved search name> will execute a search. For example, if you have a saved search called Heart-Disease, type “..e Heart-Disease” (without the quotes) to execute the search.
  • ..pg all to clear the search history. If your search is saved, it will stay saved, but this allows you to clear the slate and start something new. Similarly, use “.. pg #,#” (without the quotes) to purge specific lines.
  • ..dedup # to remove any duplicates from a specific line in the search history.
  • ..ps to view the entire search history in a printable format

Part 2: Look up information about MeSH

  • ..scope <subject heading> will look up the scope note for the indicated subject heading. For example “..scope heart diseases” (without the quotes).
  • ..tree <subject heading> will look up the subject heading in the tree hierarchy. For example, “..tree heart diseases” (without the quotes).
  • ..sh <subject heading> to look up the subheading selection window for the subject heading.

(Note: The three commands above can be used with out without the dot dot (..) syntax preceding the command. I like to use it for all commands for consistency).

All of this information is also contained in Ovid’s help documentation.

I hope you find these commands as useful as I do. If you can master these, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a database master (and also wow those around you with you efficient navigating ability!).

Til next time,

Amanda

 

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