If you're working on crafting a search strategy that you intend to you return to repeatedly, edit, and revise, it can be extremely helpful to save that strategy in the database for later updates. Additionally, if you will need to report your database search strategies as part of a description of your literature review methods, saving a copy of your searches is essential.
Most of the core health sciences databases offer you the option of creating an account and saving your own searches. See the resources below for information about creating your personal database accounts and saving searches.
In addition to saving searches in the native database account where they were conducted, it may also be helpful to save them in an external document, which offers more flexibility for tracking the iterations of the search and making notes about useful/not useful terms. The resources below may be helpful for documenting your search terms
When you save your search strategy outside of the native database environment, it is helpful to include sufficient details to make it as reproducible as possible. You should note:
Many databases allow you to save or download the details of a search query to your computer. For more specific instructions, see:
The image below shows an annotated example of a reproducible search query, with information about the different operators and elements.