Databases are the best way of finding peer-reviewed articles, scholarly books, conferences, theses and other information on your topic. Some databases enable you to search across disciplines while others are tailored to help researchers in your specific subject.
Have a look at the key databases for medicine:
Alternatively, have a look at the complete list of medical related databases.
For information about other subjects, use our full database list.
Clinical databases tend to be a little bit more complicated to search as they usually use an indexing system. The indexing system is there to help you find the most relevant search terms. For example, you may want to search for research on german measles but you would also need to search for rubella. The indexing helps you to find the most relevant keywords. The main indexing system is called MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) and is used by Medline and PubMed.
Medline is a specialist database that indexes most of the world's research articles in the area of medicine.
This tutorial takes you through the process of creating an effective search strategy for the Medline database and gives you an opportunity to have a go at completing a search. It also covers some of the more general search principles and techniques that you can use with any database. The quiz at the end allows you to assess what you have learnt.
For anyone undertaking a systematic review, a scoping review or any review that requires evidence of how you have searched the research literature, this tutorial will help you to think about the practical steps of completing the searching stage of your systematic review. This includes advanced search techniques, the use of search filters, supplementary search techniques, including citation searching. There is also advice on recording your search strategies and managing your references.
You may already be familiar with searching the literature using databases such as Medline, but there are a range of other information resources that can help you to evaluate and critically appraise the quality of the research that you are finding.
This tutorial will introduce you to the process of conducting an evidence based literature search and give you an overview of the range of specialist evidence based information resources available. You will have the opportunity to investigate the different resources.
Advanced search techniques.
There are a range of search techniques that you can use to help to refine your search strategies, such as truncation, wildcards, phrase searching and proximity searching. Some of these techniques apply across all databases, for example, truncation searching and others will vary between the different databases, for example, proximity searching. The following guide will show you how to apply these techniques in the following databases – Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, CINAHL, Web of Science, ASSIA, Scopus and the Cochrane Library.
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