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What are you looking for?
So many resources for finding articles! To choose where to start, consider what you are looking for. Do you want to find articles about a topic? Do you want to find all the articles about a topic? Do you want to familiarize yourself with articles from a particular author, grant, journal, or institution? Or maybe you already have a citation, and you just want to retrieve the article's full text? Or perhaps you already have an article's PDF, and you want to get its citation information into EndNote, RefWorks, or another citation manager? Different databases work best for different tasks. Check out all that we offer, and don't be shy -- contact me if you'd like to ask about choosing the right databases and crafting targeted searches for your research question.
Core databases for public health and biomedical literature: PubMed, Global Health, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, Articles+
Global Health is our specialist database for public health. It's smaller than PubMed, with slightly under three million records. So why search it? Because more than 40% its citations (for journal articles, reports, books, theses, and conference proceedings) are unique. And don't be misled by the name; Global Health is global, not because it's limited to global health as a topic, but because it includes publications from a hundred countries in fifty languages (most with English abstracts). In fact, Global Health covers chronic diseases, environmental and occupational health, epidemiology and biostatistics, health systems, and more.
Like PubMed, Embase has millions of citations from biomedical journals, complete with subject indexing. Unlike PubMed, Embase also includes conference abstracts. Embase is especially good for pharmacology because its controlled vocabulary, Emtree, covers drug and chemical terms extensively. Embase has more than 31 million citations from six thousand conferences and eight thousand journals; some of those journals are not included in PubMed. If you're doing a comprehensive search, you need to search PubMed/MEDLINE and Embase.
Scopus is the largest citation database, with more than 60 million records from more than twenty thousand journals, as well as conference papers and patents. About a third of those publications are in the health sciences, but you'll also find information from the social, life, and physical sciences. Scopus is excellent for cross-disciplinary questions and grey literature, but you'll need to use keywords, instead of controlled vocabulary, to search. Scopus also has interesting features for analyzing result sets, citation trends, and impact metrics for articles, authors, and journals.
Google Scholar is popular with researchers because it's easy to search and helps you find open access literature. If you want to become a power user, come to one of our Google Scholar workshops. Still, Google Scholar shouldn't be your only choice. First, no one outside Google knows its scope and coverage. Second, you can't download batches of citations. So, for any comprehensive literature search, you'll want to use other resources. But sometimes you don't need a comprehensive search; for those times, you can set up your Google Scholar settings to include YaleLinks so that you can get full-text easily.
Articles+ from Yale QuickSearch
In Articles+, you can search most of Yale's licensed content. Your results might include e-books and articles from newspapers and encyclopedias, as well as journal articles. The other databases on this list will let you create more precise searches, but Articles+ can be an easy way to explore a new topic.
Africa-Wide Information combines about fifty bibliographic databases with four million records. Because of this broad coverage, you may want to do an advanced search and set the data contributor limit to one or more sources under African Healthline. Your search results will include journal articles but also books, conference proceedings, technical documents, and newspaper articles.
BIOSIS / Biological Abstracts
BIOSIS contains literature references from all of the life sciences, including agriculture, cell biology, nutrition, public health, botany, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, zoology, and psychology.
CAB Direct covers applied life sciences includes agriculture, environment, veterinary sciences, applied economics, food science and nutrition. At Yale we access CAB Direct on the CABI platform; we access its sister resource Global Health on the Ovid platform -- use the link in the core database box on the left.
Collection of six databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making, and a seventh database that provides information about Cochrane groups.
This global infectious disease knowledge management tool is designed to assist in diagnosing infectious diseases and staying current on the latest trends in epidemiology and treatment. Used for diagnosis and reference in the field of tropical and infectious diseases, epidemiology, microbiology and antimicrobial chemotherapy.
Health and Psychosocial Instruments provides ready access to information on measurement instruments (i.e., questionnaires, interview schedules, checklists, index measures, coding schemes/ manuals, rating scales, projective techniques, vignettes/scenarios, tests) in the health fields, psychosocial sciences, organizational behavior, and library and information science.
Household Products Database
What's under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room?
Learn more about what's in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling.
LILACS is a comprehensive index of scientific and technical literature of Latin America and the Caribbean focusing on increasing visibility, access and quality of health information in the Region.
National Guideline Clearinghouse
NGC is a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
Resource for searching databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases
The Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools collects systematic reviews evaluating the effectivesness and cost-effectiveness of public health interventions. Because reviews can vary in quality, the NCCMT rates them with critical appraisal tools. GREAT RESOURCE
How do I get full-text?
The Medical Library provides links to full-test electronic holdings via YaleLinks.
Not finding what you need? Request it!
PubMed Special Queries
PubMed offers a number of specialized filters to help you get to relevant results. You can access these options from the PubMed homepage, under PubMed Tools > Topic-Specific Queries. Here are a few examples:
Which database should you use?
It depends! Here are some factors to consider.
- Are you interested in journal articles, or journal articles + conference papers + research instruments + "grey literature"?
- Is your topic covered in core biomedical journals and databases, or do you want to search the literature of other disciplines -- sociology, allied health, psychology, economics, engineering -- as well?
- Do you want to search with controlled vocabularies and subject headings, with natural language keywords, or both?
- Do you want to use operators for truncation and proximity?
- Do you want to document and save your searches?
- Do you want to download batches of citations into your reference manager?
Depending on the answers to these questions, I can help you choose which literature databases are the best for your research question.