Skip to Main Content

Health Services and Policy Research

This guide serves as a portal to key resources for the interdisciplinary field of health services and policy research.

Searching with AI Tools

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard offer rapidly evolving ways to interact with information, and may be helpful in the literature search process. While each tool is unique, it is important to consider broad strengths and weaknesses when using AI in the literature search process:

Strengths

  • Might help brainstorm research topics or generate alternate search terms for your literature search
  • Can offer more approachable summaries of complex research texts
  • May help translate passages of text into other languages

Weaknesses

  • AI tools can generate citations to scientific papers that are actually nonexistent, but appear credible
    (often referred to as hallucination)
  • Generative AI tools are not search engines, they are trained on massive data sets to generate text that predicts speech
  • Baseless responses may sound authoritative
  • May not be current - the data underlying ChatGPT 3.5 is only as recent as September 2021
  • Many tools have not been trained using paywalled articles, omitting a vast body of scientific and biomedical research

Note: Some content in this guide has been adapted from: AI, ChatGPT, and the Library by Amy Scheelke from Salt Lake Community College, licensed CC BY-NC 4.0, except where otherwise noted.

Recommendations for using AI in literature searching

As you use AI tools in the literature search process:

  • Consider using AI to explore ideas and research questions, or to generate additional search terms for your literature search

  • Avoid using article citations produced by generative AI without careful validation in credible sources (e.g., PubMed, the publisher or journal's website, Google Scholar, or other scientific databases), and read cited papers to verify claims

  • Review generated text critically and always verify across multiple credible resources 

  • Plan for transparency: many publishers require authors to acknowledge how AI tools were used in the research process

  • Consider the privacy and security implications of any text pasted into generative AI platforms

AI tools for literature searching

Below are some tools to explore, keeping the considerations above in mind. Take some time to investigate the features and caveats of any tools you use.

For brief video introductions to a few of these tools, please see Wake Forest University's Speed Dating with [AI] Databases and Tools guide.

U-M AI resources