Your choice of databases will depend on the subject field and the specific research question.
Search only in the most relevant and comprehensive databases in your field, and use individual databases, rather than packages of databases. It is best practice to use thesaurus terms wherever they are are available, as well as keywords.
See below for suggestions by discipline area. See also the Library's A-Z database list, where you can browse by discipline area.
You need to search in more than one database: three to four are considered necessary for an exhaustive review.
|Allied Health, Medicine, Nursing|
|Ovid MEDLINE OR PubMed||for biomedical and health literature. There’s no need to search both, as they are very similar. MEDLINE is a subscription resource; PubMed is available free.|
|CINAHL Plus with Full Text (EBSCOhost)||nursing and allied health literature|
|Emcare (Ovid)||nursing and allied health literature|
|JBI EBP Database (Ovid)||resources in evidence-based healthcare, from the Joanna Briggs Institute|
|OTseeker||evidence-based material for occupational therapy|
|PEDro||evidence-based material for physiotherapy|
|speechBITE||evidence-based material for speech pathology|
|SPORTDiscus with Full Text (EBSCOhost)||sports science, physical education, etc.|
|ERIC (EBSCOhost)||the Education Resources Information Center. Also available in ProQuest and on its own website|
|ProQuest Education Database||all levels of education plus special needs education, home schooling, adult education, teacher education|
|Business Source Complete (EBSCOhost)||management, finance, international business, economics, accounting, marketing, and tourism.|
|ABI/Inform Collection (ProQuest)||business, management, and finance|
|SciTech Premium Collection
|applied and natural sciences|
|BioOne||biological, ecological, and environmental sciences.|
|Psychology and Social Sciences|
|PsycINFO (Ovid)||psychological, social, behavioural and health sciences|
|SocINDEX with Full Text (EBSCOhost)||all aspects of sociology|
|Sociology Database (ProQuest)||sociology and social work|
TIP: The Polyglot Search Translator has been developed by a Librarian at Bond University for health searches. If you plug in a search string from a particular database it will translate the search language into strings for other databases such as Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, and more.
Note: EBSCOhost databases now have a facility for exporting up to 25,000 citations at once into EndNote. See Exporting large numbers of records from EBSCO databases to EndNote (Word doc).
According to the scope note for the MeSH term, a clinical trial is "a work that reports on the results of a clinical study in which participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions so that researchers can evaluate the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes".
You can find clinical trials in databases, but there are also specific resources where you can find clinical trials, in some cases before they are published in journals:
Grey literature is research that has not been published commercially and therefore might not be available in the usual databases and journal collections.
Grey literature include government reports, conference proceedings, theses, policy documents, and clinical trials (as above). Note that grey literature is not necessarily peer-reviewed, and should be evaluated carefully.
For more information, see the Library's Grey Literature guide.
Citation databases are multidisciplinary, and their citation searching functions allow for "pearling" - trawling through citations and citing articles to pick up some extra articles that may have been missed in your database searching. The two main citation databases are:
If you are doing a full systematic review your searching might need to be even more thorough, including, for example:
Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.
Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.