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Finding information for Health Economics

Activity 3: Using databases - Web of Science

Watch this Panopto video from Academic Skills Centre about literature searching on Web of Science (includes sub-titles), and saving results to EndNote Online. 

For a sample search using a health economics or public health topic, see the example further down this page.

Web of Science

NB: see also the previous sections in this guide on search strategy and search techniques, or go direct to the guide on Effective Search Techniques.

Start a search

  • Log in to Findit@Bham
  • Select Database search from the Dashboard at the top of the screen (you may need to click on the 3 dots to make this option available)
  • Search for Web of Science (Core Collection) and open the link in the resulting record
  • Enter your keywords in the boxes provided.  Click on +Add Row to provide more boxes as needed
  • If you want only the most recent references, you can change the date range to whichever years you want
  • Click on Search

Advanced search

Alternative search method - search separate lines and combine in Advanced Search.

  • Enter keyword[s] on one line and Search: eg, 'Covid-19 or Sars-Cov2 or "novel coronavirus" or nCov19'
  • Then go back to the search screen by selecting 'Search' at the top of the screen
  • Remove the first line you entered and replace with a new line, eg 'vaccin*', and Search
  • Repeat again
  • Choose the History icon link (clock face) at the left of the screen to show the searches done so far
  • Select 'Go to Advanced Search'
  • In Advanced Search, select the lines you have previously entered, and use Combine, with AND, to perform a search on those lines combined together.  This is  useful for a more flexible and rigorous technique as required with Systematic literature reviews

Sample search

The following screenshots show a search for articles about "Cost-effectiveness of vaccination for Covid-19", using the Topic Search option for each line of search.

  • Covid-19 or Sars-Cov2 or "novel coronavirus" or nCov19


  • vaccin*


  • cost-benefit OR cost-utility OR "economic evaluation" or cost-effective*

This search produces a list of results.  The search can be refined by  adding in further search terms in the search bar.  Here, Africa is added as a keyword.

Refine Results

Not the range of filters listed in the left-hand margin by which you can further narrow down your search.  These include Date of publication, Countries (i.e. subject headings), Languages and Document Types.


Under Document Types, look out for the category Review.  These are review articles which summarise and review research done in a particular topic, and point to further literature about it.  They can save you a lot of time in the initial stages of your research.

Full text

From the results list, click on Full Text from Publisher to see if it is possible to access the full text of the article.  Otherwise, click on the FindIt@Bham button  which will link to our library catalogue to see if we have it available through another provider.

Save search results

To Save Results in Web of Science:

  • Tick the box for those items you wish to save 
    • Choose Export above the list of results
    • Then choose 'EndNote online' to save to your EndNote online account; or RIS for a file to upload into any referencing software


  • Choose Add to Marked list and name a fresh list, choose an existing list, or just send to 'Unfiled'
  • Once you have ‘marked’ all the references you need, click on Marked List at the top right of the screen
  • Then use Export to confirm the records you wish to save, with options save to Endnote online; or save as RIS file for importing into any referencing software

Register with Web of Science

  • Register on the Web of Science platform to enable saving search histories (and using EndNote Online referencing software): use the Register button at the top right of the Web of Science screen

History (search history)

  • Once you have registered for an account on the Web of Science platform, and signed in, the whole of your search will be saved for retrieval at another time in the History area. Select the History icon link at the side of the Web of Science screen
  • In the History area, you can re-run a search by clicking on the number of results found by that search

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