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PHC200 Research Skills Guide: Use Journal Databases

Why use journal databases?

Journal databases:

  • Are the best source of academic or scholarly information for your assessments
  • help you locate peer reviewed articles
  • Are subject specific, so that you get more relevant results
  • Have many options for refining results

You can find the Library's databases on the Journal Databases page.

Databases are grouped into subject areas. The Allied Health and the Humanities, Social Work and Human Services databases will be particularly useful for your study.

Journal Database Search Strategies

Many Journal Databases feature multiple search boxes that are stacked one above the other in rows. While they may look intimidating, they can make your search process easier.

Use one search row for each concept from your topic, e.g.:

  • 1st search row: "health disparities" OR "health inequalities" (or instead search for a specific social determinant of health, eg unemployment)
  • 2nd search row: "mental health"
  • 3rd search row: Australia*

You'll notice we have used some search tips in the search above. Check out the Search Strategies page in this guide for a listing of these tips. 

TIP: If you want to learn more about how to maximise your search using search strategies please contact the Library. We can assist you in creating an effective search strategy.


Go to either the EBSCOhost (Health) OR CINAHL Plus with Full Text databases, and try typing in the search strategy above. Alternatively, try searching for other keywords you identified during your topic analysis.

  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text is a database provided by EBSCOhost, covering the subject areas of nursing and allied health. EBSCOhost (Health) is a package of health databases including CINAHL. CINAHL provides advanced search features that can assist you to build a targeted search, while EBSCOhost (Health) is a great option for broader searching in the field of health. For information on how to use the advanced search features in CINAHL please see: Using CINAHL/MeSH subject headings
  • Did you get less results than Primo Search?  AS CINAHL & EBSCOhost (Health) are subject-specific databases, the results should be more relevant to your topic.
  • Look at the HTML and PDF links to access the full text of the article.
  • If you cannot find the full text click on the Find it at CSU button to check if the article is available elsewhere.

Searching CINAHL effectively

Journal Articles Explained

EBSCOhost Advanced Searching

Want to learn more about journal databases?

  • The Library holds a series of Online Library Workshops, some of these focus on journal database searching. 
  • We also have a Databases Help guide that contains a wealth of information on using journal databases. 

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