Skip to Main Content

Library Homepage: Literature searches and search alerts

Literature searches and search alerts done for you (SVHM staff only)

What is a Standard Literature Search?  

Librarians carry out a focused literature search of the topic in one or more bibliographic databases such as Medline or CINAHL. Results are culled for relevance and emailed in a compressed Endnote Library. These searches are not exhaustive and do not include the search strategy. They are not suitable for systematic reviews.

What are Search Alerts? 

Automated search alerts are set up in one or more bibliographic databases, such as Medline or Embase. A saved search is run automatically on a regular basis with new results provided by email. In comparison, standard literature searches cover previous years rather than ongoing updates. Both a literature search and ongoing alerts may be requested on the same topic.


  • Staff of St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne
  • These services are not appropriate for courses where staff are expected to carry out themselves, or for publications where the search forms a key part of the paper. An individual Search Tutorial or our Systematic Review Service may be more appropriate.

Contact us on if you have any questions. We are here to help!