Databases are structured, subject-specific tools for searching for information (generally journal articles, but can include other information sources). If you are doing an in-depth search, it is better to use these rather than LibrarySearch or a general internet search engine. They can search through high-quality information more effectively.
Some databases can be accessed free on the web. Others are paid for by your University.
Accessing databases through your university
Each university maintains a list of databases which can be accessed by students and staff. The links on these pages are checked and updated regularly.
Some databases cover really specific areas. Ask DORIS is a database for stroke. It requires free registration.
Here, you can search for guidelines, protocols, systematic reviews and trials on all aspects of stroke.
There are hundreds of databases available, but you don't need to use all of them! However, if you are doing an assignment on a highly specialised topic, or carrying out a literature review, you may need to go beyond the core databases mentioned on this page.
Help is at hand! See the More Databases page for a much longer list of useful health-related databases. See also the On the web page for various websites which can help you locate documents such as guidelines, policies, statistics etc.
These are the most well-known and well-used databases for health and medical care. See the separate box for a longer list of more specialised databases.
See the More Databases page for a much longer list of useful health-related databases.
For more information on searching databases, see the Structured literature searching information on the Skills and Workshops page.
You may also find this video on using Pubmed, one of the best-known biomedical databases, useful.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms are a tool used by a number of different databases to categorise the articles listed on them. This short video gives an overview of how to find them. The MeSH terms for any potential topic can be discovered using the MeSH search.