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Postgraduate Health Guide: Databases

This guide has been created to help postgraduate health students locate relevant information resources and use the library effectively.

Choosing the best database for your search

Subject/discipline-specific databases are ideal for searching the journal literature because they are tailored to a particular discipline, and therefore provide the ability to narrow your search in ways that wouldn't be possible in a general database or search tool like Library Search. For example, in a medical database you can limit to clinical trials, or to age groups studied, or to evidence-based practice.

Databases vary in content and may include more than just journal articles. For example, systematic reviews, conference proceedings, book chapters, patient information sheets, theses, or drug information may also be covered.

Not all of the resources in specialist databases can be found using Library Search.

Health Databases

You can search the following Databases to find journal articles - many of which will be available in "Fulltext PDF" where you can then print it, save it, or email it.

Databases for Evidence Based Research and Practice

The Nursing Guide contains information on different types of research, including Evidence Based Practice/Research. You can also find additional information in the Evidence Based Health Resources Guide.

There are two databases that have a focus on evidence based research and practice:

There are further databases with a focus on Evidence Based Practice/Research, which are listed further down on this page.


Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is composed of a number of different databases including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane Reviews), the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (Other Reviews), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Clinical Trials, or CENTRAL), the Cochrane Methodology Register (Methods Studies), the Health Technology Assessment Database (Technology Assessments), and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database (Economic Evaluations).

Cochrane Library offers a How to use the Cochrane Library page which includes a Search Guide, a tutorial with An Introduction and a tutorial on Search & MESH among other things. When using the tutorial links you will be asked to register with your name and email address.

There are various ways to find information through Cochrane Library:

  • Search for information by keywords, title, ...
  • Browse by Topic (under Cochrane Review tab)
  • Browse by Review Group (under Cochrane Review tab)

Joanna Briggs Institute

JBI COnNECT+ is an online gateway to a collection of evidence-based resources and tools designed to assist in the clinical decision-making process and to support best practice.

The two YouTube clips below talk about evidence-based practice and the role of Joanna Briggs Institute.

Evidence-Based Information Resources

The following databases include tools that allow you to narrow your search to evidence-based information resources. The short descriptions beneath each database explain how to do this.

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