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Structured searching using PIO: Home

Structured PIO searching

This guide may be of particular use to students on Early Years, Early Childhood Studies and Education courses who are undertaking a secondary research dissertation or research proposal.

If your dissertation or final year project is secondary researched based you may be asked do perform a more structured search called PIO. PIO searching is very different from how you will have looked for research in the past. For this reason it can seem daunting but the following guides can help your through the process from the preparing your search terms to using the databases.

Preparing your search

Preparing your search

It is important to plan a search strategy before beginning your research. This guide will help you decide what you want to find and will save you time in the future. For Evidence Based Practice (EBP) searches you will be expected to break down your question into its key concepts using a formula such as PIO:    Population; Intervention (or issue); Outcome

Boolean operators

Boolean operators and advance techniques

Boolean operators and advance search technique

When you search for information, it’s very easy to get too many results or results that aren't very relevant. When you type in more than one search term, you can link them together with AND or OR.  These are known as Boolean operators. This guide will talk you through how to use boolean operators and other advanced search techniques to improve the accuracy and efficiency of your searches. 

Boolean operators

Using the databases

Using the databases

Once you have decided on all of your search terms and structured your PIO search you need to input them into the databases to find the relevant research. The following guide will demonstrate how to input your terms using boolean operators to find the best research.

 

 

Using the databases

Creating and managing an EBSCO account

Creating and managing an EBSCO account

Creating/managing an EBSCO account

You can open any of our databases and search without having to create a personal account. To use some of the more advanced features of our EBSCO resources you need to create a personal account in order to:

  • Save searches (which you can retrieve and re-run later).
  • Save articles – so you don’t have to look through the full set of results each time you run a search.
  • Create folders, so you can organise your saved articles.

 

Creating an account