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Research Process

These pages offer an introduction to the research process at a very general level.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are a form of grey literature and can inform current research conducted by organizations, Federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health, academic institutions, and individual health care providers. These studies investigate the effectiveness of new treatments, interventions, drugs, procedures, and devices in order to improve health outcomes for a specific population. 

For more information about what is a clinical trial, please refer to the following book entries located in the SAGE Research Methods database:

For more information about clinical trials and regulation of studies, please refer to the following resources:

Searching for Clinical Trials in Library Databases

To search for clinical trials in CINAHL, select Clinical Trial under Publication Type in the Search Options. Enter your keywords into the search box and click Search.

CINAHL complete search options showing Publication Type with Clinical Trial selected

To search for clinical trials in Cochrane Library, select the Trials tab on the navigation menu and click Search Trials (CENTRAL).Search Cochrane Library by clicking on Trials in the navigation menu and selecting Search Trials (CENTRAL)

 

You can also conduct a search using your keywords and select the Trials tab from the results list.

Search results list in Cochrane Library with Trials tab selected

To search for clinical trials in MEDLINE, select Clinical Trial under Publication Type in the Search Options. Enter your keywords into the search box and click Search.

MEDLINE complete search options showing Publication Type with Clinical Trial selected

To search for clinical trials in the OVID database, follow these steps.

1. Click on Edit Limits on the basic search page.

Basic Search page in OVID with arrow pointing to select Edit Limits button

2. On the Limits page, check Clinical Trials and save by clicking the Customize Limits button.

Limits Search page with Clinical Trials limit checked and Customize Links button highlighted to save changes

3. Enter your keywords in the search box, select Clinical Trial under the Clinical Trials limiter, and click Search.

OVID Basic Search screen with Clinical Trials limiter available

To search for clinical trials in PsycARTICLES, click on the Advanced Search link and select Clinical Trial under Methodology in the Search Options. Enter your keywords into the search box and click Search.Methodology search option with clinical trial highlighted in PsycARTICLES

To search for clinical trials in PsycINFO, click on the Advanced Search link and select Clinical Trial under Methodology in the Search Options. Enter your keywords into the search box and click Search.Methodology search option with clinical trial highlighted in PsycINFO

To search for clinical trials in PubMed, conduct a search on your topic. On the results page, use the Article types filter on the left to limit your search results to Clinical Trial.

Limiting PubMed search results to Clinical Trial using Article Types filter

To search for clinical trials in TRIP, select the Controlled Trials filter on the right after running a search with your keyword(s). NOTE: The Ongoing Clinical Trials filter is only available to PRO subscribers.

TRIP database results limited by Controlled Trials filter

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Clinical Trials Registries

Locate clinical trial information by searching clinical trials registries:

Roadrunner Search

Conduct a keyword search on your topic using Roadrunner Search, the central search box found on the Library's homepage. Your search should include specific keywords relevant to the medical condition or treatment combined with the phrase "clinical trial," as pictured below.Roadrunner search using keyword endometriosis along with phrase "clinical trial"

Internet Search

A general internet search may yield information about specific conditions or treatments and associated clinical trials. To find information about relevant clinical trials on Google, type the name of the medical condition or treatment combined with the phrase "clinical trial," as pictured below.

Google search for clinical trials on celiac disease