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Clinical and Research Support

You will need to search biomedical databases for appropriate literature. Databases are required because:

  • the content is peer-reviewed
  • includes reputable journals
  • excludes commercial and biased sources
  • allows a systematic search methodology which can be replicated in final report
  • they allow advanced search techniques
  • support reference management

Major biomedical databases include Medline, PubMed, Embase and PsycInfo. More information here.

Depending on your topic these databases may be enough. However you may also need to search:

  • grey literature - government and organisational publications, research reports, white papers etc.
  • subject specific databases
  • citation databases - these allow you to follow citations to and from relevant papers. Citation databases include Scopus and Web of Science. these are not available from the Health Sciences Library but are available through UoM.
  • the internet generally


Before starting to search, make sure you have a clear statement of your question. This allows you to target your search to the most relevant material.


For advice on how to search visit our Guide to literature searching.


Searching is a cyclical process, not a one off task.


As you find and review material new possibilities become apparent...

  • new terminology identified
  • seminal papers - follow citations
  • very topical papers - look at references
  • expert authors - what else have they written?
  • centres of excellence on your topic - other publications  - website, peer sharing etc