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How to Search in Biomedical Databases

Tutorials for Library Databases and Resources

Literature Database Searching: Tips & Tricks

PubMed Search Tips (click on image icon for pdf version)

PubMed comprises more than 27 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. The public database is maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and it offers a fairly broad overview of existing literature on a particular topic, but it should not be seen as a complete overview. The content found below applies to the public-facing version, not the version of Medline supported by Ovid.

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Cochrane Search Tips (click on image icon for pdf version)

The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases in medicine and other healthcare specialties provided by the Cochrane Collaboration and other organizations. At its core is the collection of Cochrane Reviews, a database of systematic reviews and meta-analyses which summarizes and interprets the results of medical research, which are often considered the “Gold Standard” for systematic reviews in terms of quality.

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Web of Science Tips (click on image icon for pdf version)

Web of Science provides abstracts and full text access to scientific literature. Web of Science allows you to search across several databases, including its Web of Science Core Collection and other databases included in NEOMED’s subscriptions like MEDLINE.

Note that some articles may be found in multiple databases, and Web of Science prioritizes results that are from within Clarivate-owned databases first in the list of results.

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PsycINFO Search Tips (click on image icon for pdf version)

PsycINFO Contains more than 2.6 million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, education, social work, law, criminology, social science, and organizational behavior. Collections date back as far as the 1800s. Ninety-eight percent of the covered material is peer-reviewed.

Note: this content applies to the EBSCO version of this database.

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CINAHL Plus Search Tips (click on image icon for pdf version)

The main focus of The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL Plus) is nursing, along with biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines. In total, the EBSCO-hosted database contains nearly 4 million records, indexed from over 3,100 journals dating back to the 1930s. Note: this content applies to the Ebsco version of this database.

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Content on this page is adapted from content found on Welch Medical Library's Nursing Resources Guide which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License attributable to the Welch Medical Library