Research and Clinical Search Services

For all your literature search needs…

What is an Expert Search?

Searches are performed by expert searchers in the Reference Department. A librarian consults with the requester to clarify the subject and to refine terminology and parameters. Next, the best databases are identified for the topic. Search strategies are built and results are compiled and emailed to the requester.

Literature search request

What is an Expert Searcher?

A library professional with training and in-depth knowledge in numerous areas such as:

  • Clinical and Biomedical Resources
  • Databases and Vendor Systems
  • Controlled Vocabularies / Thesauri
  • Search Methodologies
  • Publishing / Open Access
  • Systematic reviews
  • Meta-analyses

What Do I receive?

Results include the search strategies used, citation data and abstracts (when available). Customized output may be quested. Results Do Not include the full text of the articles. The UAMS Library provides these specialized search services to all UAMS faculty and staff.

Will my results include Google Scholar? RCSS expert searches do not generally include results from Google Scholar (GS) for a variety of reasons.* We can, if specifically requested, send a screenshot of a proposed Advanced Search strategy for GS that you may wish to use on your own. We can also send a screenshot of the first few results; there is no way to send a group of GS results to another person except via screenshot or by exporting the result items one-by-one to a citation management product or CSV file.

Who Can Use RCSS and is There a Cost?

This service is free to all UAMS faculty, staff, and residents under our subscription databases. Non-licensed commercial databases are available upon request and costs are charged back to the UAMS requester. Free literature search services are available to Arkansas health professionals. If you do not reside/work in Pulaski County, click here to find the Regional Center library that serves your area.

What If I Want To Do a Systematic Review?

Sometimes people use the phrase “systematic review” to indicate that they want a comprehensive literature search on a given topic in support of a review article. In biomedical literature, the term systematic review is used to mean a specific type of journal article with a standard structure and process. Such systematic reviews are usually about a narrow clinical topic, such as comparing randomized, controlled trials of various drug therapies.

This web page describes the process and structure of a systematic review:  The National Academy of  Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) has created an extensive statement of standards for the performance of systematic reviews:  Please note that the NAM standards mandate not only the participation of qualified health sciences librarians in the construction of search strategies and performance of the searches, but author-level contributions to the Methods section of the resulting article. If you will be requesting a literature search in support of a systematic review, please contact RCSS for a consultation.


Individual consultations may be requested for assistance with database selections, search methodologies and output formats. Specialized support is provided for:

  • Setting up Auto Alerts or current awareness searches
  • Conducting animal alternative searches to meet USDA and UAMS IACUC requirements
  • Search strategy consultations are available for PhD level graduate students


  • One-on-one training in the use of specific databases, resources, and/or features
  • Small group classes on site

Benefits to You

  • Save valuable clinical and research hours
  • Receive customized search strategies and focused results
  • Request customized output options for search results (including de-dupping results among databases and/or importable data for RefWorks, Endote or RefMan).

Situations Where You Might Request an Expert Search

  • Clinical / Patient Care Cases
  • Evidence-based Information
  • Research / Grants (Recommended for any human clinical trials)
  • Presentations / Conferences
  • Publication Preparation
  • Adherence to Federal Regulations for Protocols


*1) Some of the journal article content duplicates other resources, such as PubMed or Web of Science; 2) there is no publicly-available list identifying resources searched by the GS web crawlers nor is there transparency regarding years of coverage within the GS data sets; 3) the GS “advanced” search features are more primitive than those of our subscription databases; 4)There is therefore a low signal-to-noise ratio for the results (i.e., results in the thousands with many non-relevant items)