Our PICO search is really popular but it’s not changed since it was introduced years ago. For those unfamiliar with it, this is what it looks like:
Our search works on a contingency search basis. So, assuming the user enters 4 search terms (a P, I, C and O) we do an initial search looking for the terms in the title only. If there aren’t many results we repeat with P, I and C as a title search and O as title and text. If there are still too few, we do P and I as title and C and O as title and text etc.
It seems to work well, but I’m sure it could be improved especially given our work with the KConnect project – where we specifically annotate articles with the PICO elements (albeit only the RCTs and systematic reviews).
But as we look to overhaul it we need your help….
Do you use the PICO search? Is it perfect? If not, how might it be improved?