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Health Research Basics

Your intro to research resources & techniques for using the library catalogue, evaluating resources you find, avoiding plagiarism, searching medical databases & referencing

Health & Medicine-related Databases

Browse this list of databases to determine which ones are relevant to your research needs.

Why use a database?

Databases allow you to do different kinds of searches.

Basic keyword search: similar to a library catalogue or Google search where you use whatever keywords you think describe your topic.

Subject heading search:  use the thesaurus terms (also known as controlled vocabulary) of the database to find all articles tagged with specifically assigned subject headings.

Combined keyword & subject heading search:  for advanced research, use combined searching  to ensure retrieval of current and relevant  resources to support your research.  Start with your own basic keywords as concepts but also find out what the thesaurus terms in the database is for that concept and combine them. 

Medline vs Pubmed. What's the difference?

2. I have heard of PubMed but what is MEDLINE and what is the difference between these databases? 

PubMed is a free database used to search for abstracts of medical & related scientific literature from all over the world. MEDLINE is the largest citation subset within PubMed & comprises abstracts from more than 5400+ high quality international medical research journals selected by US National Institute for Health's review panel. At UNIC, you can also use EBSCO's MEDLINE Complete to search for Medline content.

When searching PubMed you will find citations from 

1. MEDLINE indexed journals 

2. Journals/ manuscripts deposited in PubMed Central (PMC)

3. NCBI Bookshelf

Citations found in  PubMed  may have links to full-text articles in PMC, NCBI Bookshelf & some Publishers' websites. 
If you limit your PubMed search to MeSH controlled vocabulary you will only retrieve MEDLINE citations in your search results.