Search a number of journal article databases in order to:
WHY? According to the Cochrane Handbook Section 188.8.131.52 "Minimizing Bias":
Systematic reviews of interventions require a thorough, objective and reproducible search of a range of sources to identify as many relevant studies as possible (within resource limits). This is a major factor in distinguishing systematic reviews from traditional narrative reviews and helps to minimize bias and therefore assist in achieving reliable estimates of effects.
A search of MEDLINE alone is not considered adequate. A systematic review showed that only 30% - 80% of all known published randomized trials were identifiable using MEDLINE (depending on the area or specific question) (Dickersin 1994).
The same can be considered for any comprehensive search of the literature.
Relatively easy interfaces
Use of subject headings
Best for quick-and-dirty searches to get you started
Serendipitous searching (citing reference searching, related record searching)
Necessary for comprehensive, reproducible searches (i.e. systematic or scoping reviews)
Medline, Embase, CINAHL and PsycINFO are examples of subject databases.
Scopus and Web of Science are two examples of citation indexes
|PubMed vs OVID Medline
PubMed = Public Medline
MEDLINE is the largest component of PubMed (http://pubmed.gov/), the freely accessible online database of biomedical journal citations and abstracts created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM®). In addition to MEDLINE citations, PubMed also contains, among other items, in-process citations which provide a record for an article before it is indexed with MeSH and added to MEDLINE or converted to out-of-scope status. More information here.
Health science research is often multidisciplinary. Below is a list of multidisciplinary databases to start you in the right path. You can also use these databases to conduct basic searches to 'scope' out a subject; quickly find seminal articles; and conduct bibliometrics research. We do not recommend searching these databases as part of a systematic review.
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