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Pharmacy Research Skills Guide: Journal Databases


There are many different types of resources which might offer information on the topic you are researching, but you need to consider whether the source is scholarly or authoritative enough for an academic assignment. (If in doubt, check with your lecturer.)

Source type*: Use this source to:
  • Get an overview, introduction, and/or background on a topic
  • Get in-depth information about a broad topic
Journal article   
  • Access the latest research and ideas on your topic
  • Learn about varied perspectives on a topic
  • Examine a topic in very specific detail
  • Get the latest current affairs and business information
  • Investigate public attitudes to topics and issues
  • Locate reports and documents from government, academic, or professional organisations
  • Find background or introductory information
  • Familiarise yourself with the topic

Reference material

(dictionaries, encyclopaedias)

  • Find factual and statistical information on a topic
  • Get an overview of a subject
  • Find definitions
  • Use subject specific resources to decipher the "jargon" of your topic

*Source type includes both hard copy and online versions of the source (for example, books includes both hard copy books and ebooks

How do Journal Databases work?

A journal database is an organised collection of information records that can be accessed electronically.

Some online journals are open access, which means anyone can go to the journal's website and access the articles for free. However, most online journals require you to pay to access their articles. The Library subscribes to (pays to access) thousands of online journals on your behalf. These subscribed journals are usually supplied to the Library through Journal Databases and you can access these Journal Databases and the journals and articles contained within via the CSU Library website.


Databases Containing Evidence-Based Practice Resources:

When searching for information in the field of health to answer clinical or research questions, you may be required to locate evidence-based practice resources. Some of the databases investigated in the next few pages of this guide including Medline are useful for finding primary evidence based practice resources. The Cochrane Library is useful for finding secondary evidence based practice resources. For more information please see the Evidence-Based Practice section of this guide.

Sources of Information

Why Should You 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 Pharmacy Journal Databases will be particularly useful for your study.

In this Guide - Journal Databases

In this guide we will investigate the following journal databases:

Note: All of these databases can be accessed from the CSU Library's list of Pharmacy Journal Databases

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