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Health and Social Care

Databases

Whether you are writing a thesis, dissertation, or research paper it is a key task to survey prior literature and research findings. More likely than not, you will be looking for trusted resources, most likely peer-reviewed research articles. Academic research databases make it easy to locate the literature you are looking for.

Use this page to access and discover the resources most suitable for you. 

Some of the databases are full-text, but others only include citations (references to the articles), you can use these full-text finder browser extensions to discover whether we have access to those articles.
 

Multidisciplinary databases cover a wide range of academic subjects including the arts, health care, business, literature, law, sciences, and more from journals, newspapers, magazines, ebooks, and reports. These databases are useful because you can find a huge number of articles about your topic allowing you to narrow down your keywords even further. 

Some multidisciplinary databases and providers are:

Review the 'Covid-19 research' menu on the left hand side of this page for further resources to search the literature on this topic. 

Help with searching databases

Take a look at these quick guides to help you get started with searching each database.

The 'search skills' guide will take you through the process of searching the literature in a systematic way. 

Visit the CINAHL help pages for complete support.

Visit the MEDLINE help pages for complete support.

Visit the PsycINFO/PsycARTICLES help pages for complete support.

The following guide will show you how to:

  • Navigate the Cochrane Library
  • Carry out advanced searches
  • Filter your search results
  • Save and re-run your searches

This guidance from NICE will show you how to:

  • search NICE Evidence search
  • Review your results
  • Refine your results
  • Share and download your results

The following guidance from PubMed will show you how to:

  • search PubMed
  • search by author
  • search by journal name
  • how to find a specific citation
  • how to focus your search
  • how to expand your search

Visit the Trip help pages for complete support.

Visit the SpeechBITE help pages for complete support.

Visit the PEDro help pages for complete support.

These interactive tutorials will  help you get the best out of Scopus:

Cited Reference Searching

Citation searching uses one relevant publication to locate others, by exploring the list of references at the end of the publication in the bibliography (going back in time and reading what the authors read to inform the article), and by exploring other publications that cite your reference (going forward in time and reading subsequent publications that listed your reference in their bibliography). 

This type of search is often done in addition to standard database searching, to increase the recall of all the relevant literature. However, this method should not be used in isolation when searching for evidence as large amounts of information could be missed.

The main advantage of citation searching is that you can follow a line of scholarly communication on a given topic over time, by going backward and forward from a seed reference.

You may also be able to gauge the impact of a publication by looking at the citation count, the logic being that articles that are frequently cited have had greater impact or influence in the scientific community (though of course there will be exceptions to this).

Citation searching can turn up publications that were not found via standard database searches because you are not constrained by the vocabulary of a search strategy or bibliographic record. You may also find articles from unexpected disciplines.

First you identify a key article, author or book of relevance to your research (ideally in publication for at least one or two years). The chosen article, book or author will be the target of your search. By using that resource's title or author's name you can conduct a citation search in databases such as Web of Science and Scopus,

Tutorial showing how to conduct a cited reference search in Scopus 

Try this example graph and then create your own.