Research and Data Services

Expert Literature Search Service



Unsure if you have found all of the relevant information about your topic? Let us put you at ease. Professionally-trained, expert searchers are available to work with UVA faculty and staff to search the health-related literature.

UVA Health Faculty and Staff
Librarian searchers can perform comprehensive literature searches to meet your individual needs. Whether you are writing a scoping, narrative, or other review type, authoring a book chapter, or looking for literature to support the care of your patient, we can help by working with you to choose database(s), identify search terms, develop strategies, perform the search, and deliver citations.

Non-UVA Local Health Providers
Unaffiliated health providers are welcome to perform their own literature searches using the library's databases onsite, during staffed hours (currently M-F 8 am - 5 pm). Librarians are available by appointment to provide consultations on basic searching tips such as choosing search terms and saving results.

Professional Society and Organization Members
We fully support the faculty, students, and staff of UVA Health in their roles related to research, education, and patient care.  However, due to capacity and licensing limitations, we are unable to provide literature search services for professional society committee members and other professional organizational commitments of faculty. We applaud those professional medical societies that employ librarians to support these types of activities.


Librarian searchers have expertise in:

  • identifying databases, selecting appropriate terminology, and determining search strategies
  • locating references for complex or unusual clinical cases
  • providing supporting literature for grant or funding applications
  • finding information to support quality improvement initiatives, including emerging ideas found in the "grey literature".
  • documenting and writing the search methods used for inclusion in your manuscript
  • exporting and managing your references in a tool that works for you

In addition, librarians are available to serve on your systematic review team. Read more about our Systematic Review Services and Resources.

Ready to Get Started?

Request literature search assistance through the library's Ask Us form or by contacting your library liaison. After receiving a request, a search expert will discuss your topic and desired results with you to determine the best approach to meet your needs. Being present during the search is often helpful but not absolutely necessary as literature searching is often an iterative approach.

Turnaround Time
Searches are performed on a first come, first served basis and are generally completed within two business days. Complex searches typically require additional time.

Delivery of Results
Search results can be delivered in a variety file types including Word, Excel, or citation management program format. Search strategies are documented and delivered as well.

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