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Clinical and Research Support

Medical and Health Databases

For assistance or training in searching databases please contact the library.


Run by the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the United States National Library of Medicine, PubMed is a freely available database covering all areas of medicine and health. It contains over 28 million citations. Some material is free access, including PubMed Central, a collection of 4 million articles. The largest component of PubMed is Medline.

Users can create a free personal account to save searches and create alerts.

Accessing PubMed via the library website will enable full text linking to material to which we have a subscription.

Information on how to use PubMed is available here.


Medline (via Ovid)

Medline is the National Library of Medicine journal citation database - it is the same content as PubMed but has better search functionality. It can be accessed via the library webpage on the Ovid platform. Advantages of Medline over PubMed include:

  • improved functionality including more advanced search options
  • improved full text linking 
  • search terms are mapped to appropriate MeSH headings
  • easier ability to build search concept by concept and to modify search history
  • more options to export results

These features make Medline better for focused searching, and are especially valuable for those doing literature or systematic reviews. Users can  also create personal accounts to save searches and to create subject alerts.

Access Medline here.



Embase is a biomedical database run by Elsevier containing 32 million records. It has wide subject coverage including much of Medline but offers enhanced coverage of pharmaceutical and medical device literature. It also includes conference abstracts and coverage of 2900 journals unique to Embase.  Features include:

  • improved indexing of drug information including synonyms and chemical names
  • more frequent updating of drug terms
  • increased subheadings for drug information
  • cross-referencing of drug side effects with diseases (triple subheadings)
  • indexing of device names and manufacturers
  • search terms are mapped to subject headings
  • triple indexing of drug and device terms with key subheadings such as side effects, adverse reactions and drug interactions cross referenced with linked terms such as symptoms.
    • eg. abdominal distension/side effect/baclofen.xt. and baclofen/adverse drug reaction/abdominal distension.xt.

Embase is available via Ovid on the library website



PsycINFO contains literature in the psychological, social, behavioural, and health sciences. It is provided by the American Psychological Association. Coverage includes 2500 peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and selected dissertations.

Access is available here.


Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is a collection of six databases including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Health Technology Assessment Database. Access is available here.



Emcare covers all branches of nursing. It also includes includes international coverage of allied health, education and training, development and management, midwifery, health and healthcare economics, clinical medical and healthcare social work, psychiatry and mental health, and traumatology, emergency and critical-care medicine.

Access is available here.



CINAHL (The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) contains nursing and allied health literature including material from several nursing associations. In addition to journal articles it includes dissertations, evidence based care summaries and other formatsSome material is full text.

Video - CINAHL advanced search tutorial.

Access here.


Google Scholar

Not a database, but a version of Google that searches within scholarly literature including peer reviewed journals, conference abstracts, theses books, patents  and online repositories. Sign into your Google account and select Library Links in Settings (search and select Health Sciences Library - RMH) to see full text availability.