Medical Literature Databases
Types of Literature Reviews
Literature Review (also called summary or narrative review)
A description of prior research without a systematic search and selection strategy or critical appraisal of the studies’ merits. These sorts of review are often done in support of information queries generated
by academic assignments.
Comprehensive Literature Reviews (include scoping, systematics, meta-analysis reviews etc)
Scoping Review: documents what is already known which helps refine a research question, concepts and theories.
Systematic Review: attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question.
Meta-analysis Review: same as a systematic review but the analysis uses statistical methods to summarize the results of selected independent studies. Details of the Literature Search Service (including pricing). [pdf]
- Cochrane Library (Abstracts only)
- Google Scholar
- JBI: Joanna Briggs Institute Evidence Based Practice (Australia)
- MEDLINE (Ovid)
- OT Seeker
- PEDro - Physiotherapy Evidence Database
- Portico - Canada's Mental Health & Addiction Network
- PubMed (WH)
- TRIP Database
- Yottalook - the Radiology Search Engine
- OmniMedicalSearch.com. Gathering information from many of the top medical professional sites such as PubMed, NIH, and Merck, this search engine provides information from peer level sources. Partnered with Healthline.com and Google Custom Search, the results offered are from a full search engine. They also offer a "reference desk of hard-to-find medical resources."
- MedNets. Ranked number 4 of 95 in Google’s medical directory, this metasearch engine provides information from journals, associations, news sources, and more. MedNets offers a search specifically for medical professionals in addition to one for the general public. The professional version can be customized by specialty.
- Hardin MD. Sponsored by the University of Iowa, this site allows you to search for a disease or general health topic alphabetically to get links to a variety of online articles and photos about each disease. You can also view photos from classic medical books via this site.
- Welch Medical Library. While this site is specifically for those associated with Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, it offers a search feature for articles published in medical journals and online. Many of the full articles are available for a fee, while others are free of charge. In addition to the powerful search engine, they also have Subject Guides under the "eResources" section that offers links to topics ranging from Alternative Medicine to Grants and Funding to Writing and Publishing.
- PDR.net. Access one of the most well-known and frequently used resources for FDA-approved prescription drugs. You must register to use this service, but it is free of charge to all U.S.-based medical professionals. The site also offers free download to your PDA.
- ClinicalTrials.gov. Search this world wide registry of "federally and privately supported clinical trials." Search almost 57,000 trials by condition, drug intervention, sponsor, or location. There is also a link for professionals who want to register their trials with this site.
- Intute. Out of the U.K., this site offers searches on a wide variety of topics under medicine, nursing/midwifery, medical history, and other fields in the health sciences. They also provide links to a handful of resource brochures and training site tutorials.
- Healthline. Search for diagnoses and treatments while staying on top of health and wellness with this medical site. Healthline searches the best of the health sites available on the Internet, reducing your search time. Browse by topic or use their keyword search. Also visit the top 10 diagnostic tests or browse their dictionaries.
- HighWire Press. This database provides access to most of the major news and research publications in the life sciences. Almost half of the full-text articles available are free of charge.
- MedBioWorld. Available at this site are Reuter’s health and medical news from the past three years, access to online journals, full access to scholarly publications, and access to a highly-rated genomics blog. You must register to have access to all the features at this site.
- PubMed. Sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, this database provides access to citations going back for the past 40 years. You must register (free) with NCBI before having access to this powerful search engine.
- MedConnect. Specifically for healthcare professionals, this website will keep you on top of the latest in your field. They feature four interactive journals for primary care, managed care, emergency medicine, and pediatrics.
- Entrez. Hosted by NCBI, this life sciences search engine allows for searches in PubMed, Human Genome, GenBank, Mapviewer, and BLAST. Additionally, you can search across all the available databases which gather information from journal articles, books, online books, and more.
- eMedicine. A part of WebMD, this site is geared to the medical professional. Describing itself as an "open access comprehensive medical textbook," eMedicine offers over 6,500 clinical articles written by contributing physicians. eMedicine also offers free accredited CME courses for physicians.
- MedBioWorld. Geared toward medical professionals and those in the biotechnology field, this search engine finds information from journals, organizations, and databases. Use their tools, directories, dictionaries, and read the blog for even more information. They also offer a search within Reuter’s Health and Medical News.
- MedicalNDX. Search for a variety of information with this medical search engine. Available are specific searches for medications, information in specific journals, medical definitions, medical books, articles, and web searches and much more. There is also an updated medical feed right on the home page to keep you abreast of medical news while you perform your searches.
- HONMedhunt. Not only can you search for specific topics on any imaginable health topic, but once your results pop up in the window, you can click on different tabs to find conference information, news, and images that relate to your query without re-typing the keyword. Since this site is sponsored by the UN, you may receive results in French, Spanish, or Chinese as well as English.
- Antibiotic Guide. Browse this guide by specific antibiotics, diagnosis, pathogens, management, and vaccines. Look for free, updated CME programs that are also available.
- Electronic Orange Book. Updated daily, this online resource monitors generic prescription drugs and posts updates with new generic drug approvals, application approvals, discontinuations, patents, and exclusivity information. Use one of five different search types to find the medicine you want to learn about.
- American Hospital Directory. Working in any field in the health profession, having access to information for hospitals is always handy. Keep this search nearby for the next time you need to contact a hospital anywhere in America. Search for hospitals by area code, zip code, or by city and state.
- PubGene. Specifically geared to searches for genes and proteins, this search engine relies on text mining PubMed articles to find any source with a specific gene or protein mentioned in it. For any researcher or physician working in genetics, this search engine will keep up with all that is happening in the field for you. Search by organism, gene/protein, or biological term.
- MedicalStudent.com. Ignore the name, this site isn’t just for medical students. This free and incredibly comprehensive site provides links to online medical textbooks, medical journals, continuing education/board exam information, and more. Check out their page of awards, reviews, and comments.
- Journal Watch. Monitoring 350 medical journals, this site offers both journal searches as well as short, daily email updates. Choose between Primary Care Physician, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, and other specialties to specialize the content according to the type of medicine you practice. For other healthcare professionals, they also offer subscriptions for non-physicians as well.
- MDLinx.com.This site reviews over 1200 journals and provides a search by specialties and subspecialties. In addition, they offer conference and job listings. You must register, but it is free of charge. Medical professionals and laypersons alike may sign up for newsletters within their specialty.
- Medscape. For both professionals and non-professionals, Medscape offers searches in a number of databases. They also offer specialized sections for non-physician professionals such as pharmacists, med students, and nurses, as well as a specialty section with information that is specialty-specific. Registration is required, but is free of charge.
High quality evidence only!
NHS EvidenceGreat place to get the cream of the evidence – searches a limited number of high quality sources.
TRIP database Great place to get the cream of the evidence – searches a limited number of high quality sources.
Cochrane LibraryThe source of systematic reviews.
Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Proceduresincludes over 350 evidence-based clinical procedures related to every aspect of care, from handwashing to cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Great General Databases
Pubmed Medline via RavenMedline via NHS ATHENS(Select OpenAthens Login)Great starting point for any health or medical literature search.
Embase via RavenEmbase via NHS ATHENS(Select OpenAthens Login)Very complementary to Medline with strengths in pharmacology, drug research & toxicology.
CINAHL via NHS ATHENSPrime source of nursing and allied health literature.
BNI via NHS ATHENS(Select NHS England from the list)British Nursing Index – great source of nurse literature.
PsycINFO via RavenPsycINFO via NHS ATHENS(Select NHS England from the list) Prime source for psychology and psychiatry literature.
Web of Science via RavenMulti-disciplinary database, including links to Citation Indexes (citing articles) and Journal Impact Factors.
Scopus via RavenMulti-disciplinary database, including links to citing articles.
Health Business Elite via NHS ATHENSGreat for healthcare administration.
HMIC via NHS ATHENS(Select OpenAthens Login)Health Information Management Consortium – great information from Dept of Health and Kings Fund.
AMED via NHS ATHENS(Select OpenAthens Login)Allied and Complementary Medicine Database.
PEDroPhysiotherapy Evidence Database.
OTSeekerSearches systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials relevant to occupational therapy.