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Pharmacy: Using Pharmacy databases

A collection of information resources and guidance for Pharmacy students

What are databases?

Wordcloud of the titles of various databases.

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.

Other databases

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.

Key databases for pharmacy

These are the most well-known and well-used databases for health and medical care. See the More Databases page for a much longer list of useful health-related databases available to you.

  • CINAHL (available via CCCU, Greenwich and Kent) - covering nursing and allied health, with information for almost every possible health, medical and social care profession. Follow the "Accessing databases through your university" instructions above to link to this database.
  • The Cochrane Library (free online) - includes databases of systematic reviews and clinical trials. Cochrane are viewed as world leaders on evidence-based information. It is well worth searching the site for any question to do with an intervention (curative, diagnostic or palliative).
  • Medline (available via CCCU and Greenwich), also available via Pubmed and Web of Science - one of the biggest biomedical databases in the world. Follow the "Accessing databases through your university" instructions above to link to this database.

Searching databases - video guide

You may also find this video about MeSH terms useful. MeSH is a tool used by databases such as Medline/Pubmed and the Cochrane Library.