MDSC1102: Literature review
Step 3: Searching the databases
Which database should I use?
For this assignment, try searching each of the five databases listed below in the order suggested.
The Cochrane Library (produced by the international Cochrane Collaboration) is a collection of databases each containing different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.
Tips for using the Cochrane Library:
- Cochrane Library is freely available online. However, access via Flinders University databases listing to have access to full text articles held by the library.
- Use double quote marks around any phrases.
- Look at the results in the following two databases:
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (these reviews locate and synthesise of all available high-level evidence on a specific healthcare topic)
- Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (a quality repository of clinical trials on healthcare topics)
- When documenting the search, remember to include specific details of the database 'issue' you used, e.g.:
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews : Issue 3 of 12, March 2016, or
- Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials : Issue 2 of 12, February 2016
PubMed is a large biomedical databases (>27 million citations) produced by the US National Library of Medicine.
Tips for using PubMed:
- Freely available but access via Flinders University link to get access to fulltext articles.
- Boolean operators must be entered in uppercase in this database
- Try sorting by Best Match
Informit is a multidisciplinary database with a strong Australian focus. It is key when researching any topics relating to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.
Tips for using Informit:
- Use the Informit Health Database Collection subset of Informit for best results
- Use double quotation marks around multi-word search terms, e.g. "health care"
- Make sure ANDs and ORs are in capital letters.
- Expect repeated results.
Web of Science is one of the largest multidisciplinary databases encompassing subject areas in health, social sciences and science.
Tips for searching Web of Science:
- Use double quotation marks around multi-word search terms
- Explore 'Times cited' and 'Cited references' links to expand your search
- Sort results by relevancy, rather than publication date.
ProQuest is a large multidisciplinary database so you need to search the health and medicine subset only.
Tips for using ProQuest:
- Once within ProQuest, click on the Health & Medicine subset.
- Change from Basic search to the 'Advanced' search option for better results.
- Find the drop-down menu at right hand side of the search box. Change the 'Anywhere' option to 'Anywhere except full text'. Again, this will produce better results.
- Use double quotation marks around multi-word search terms (e.g. "health care").