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Public Health: Databases

Not just Google!

Good research goes beyond Google and Wikipedia!!!

To find journal articles on a subject you will need to use one of the databases listed on this page. 

Although Google Scholar can be useful, it will not allow the highly sophisticated searching which is possible with many academic databases. 

OK...sometimes Google

There will be times when you'd like to find government documents, or other information on the web. This is when Google is your best option, but make sure you use it effectively!! Check the Grey Literature section of this guide for some hints on how to get the most out of Google searching.

What's a filter bubble?

You also need to be aware that if two people do identical searches using Google, or Google Scholar they may get quite different results.This is where academic databases are indispensable, as identical searches produce identical results.

There is an interesting TED Talk "Beware online filter bubbles" which explains that as web companies, including Google and Google Scholar, strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence...we can become trapped in a "filter bubble" and not be exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our world view.

Popular Databases & Tutorials

Trying to make sense of logic grids, database searching and subject headings?
Spend a bit of time watching these short videos.. trust me, the time will be well spent!

Series 1 - PubMed

Series 2 - Embase

Series 3 - Scopus

Series 4 - PsycINFO (on the Ovid Platform)

Series 5 - CINAHL

Cross-Database Charts:
Click on the quick reference sheets below for the different field names, wildcards and proximity operators across a range of databases.

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Other Health Sciences Databases

This is a freely accessible web site that provides significant detail on the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of medical conditions. Medscape is quite similar to BestPractice and UpToDate. It's particularly useful to look at the workup section to see how practitioners move from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

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