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Table 1 Tools and techniques that will be used in the online database search

From: Life course factors associated with metabolically healthy obesity: a protocol for the systematic review of longitudinal studies

Tool/technique Description Example
Capturing phrases (phrase) used in MEDLINE database searching and “phrase” used in Scopus and Web of Science databases. (body size trajector*)
“body size trajector*”
Boolean logic operators ‘AND’ to combine searches, so databases search for the combination instead of singular search fields. Search field 1 AND search field 2 AND search field 3
  ‘OR’ will be used to instruct the database to only retrieve results with at least one of the search terms. Smok* OR diet* OR alcohol* OR ‘physical activit*’ OR exercis* OR fit* OR psychosocial OR stress*
Proximity operators NEAR/3 will be used when using Web of Science, W/3 when using Scopus, and N3 when using MEDLINE. These proximity operators instruct the database to only retrieve 2 or more words if they are within 3 words of each other. Metabolic* NEAR/3 health* NEAR/3 obes*
Metabolic* W/3 health* W/3 obes*
Metabolic* N/3 health N/3 obes*
Truncation commands ‘root word*’ the asterisks is inputted where the root word naturally finishes, and this instructs the search engine to capture all possible variations of the root word, by searching all the possible word endings. Exercis* will capture: exercise, excercising, exercised
Restrictions Dependent upon the search engine used, filters can be used to restrict searches. MEDLINE via EBSCO:
Date of publication 1960-2017
Source Type: Academic journals
Scopus via Elsevier
English Language
Date of publication 1960-2017
Publication type: articles
Web Of Science via Thomas Reuters
English Language
Date of publication 1946-2017
Publication type: articles