Databases enable you to access journal articles, technical reports, professional guidance and information to support your studies.
There are also many useful webpages freely available on the internet - but remember that not all information on the web is reliable To help we have developed an guide, with some basic steps to help you ensure that the information you use adds to the quality of your work
If you want advice on using the databases, help with search techniques or choice of databases for your topic contact the Mary Seacole Library Team who are happy to arrange one-to-one and small group tutorials, or use the Library online help available at Library Help.
Video guides to using the databases and finding the full text of papers can be found in the tabs in this box.
|TIPS guides (in Word or pdf)|
|Many of the journal indexing databases do not provide access to all of their indexed content. Library and Learning Resources subscribes to many journal titles which, though indexed by the databases, do not have the full text linked directly from the database. To make sure that you are able to link to all of the available titles and obtain the full text when they are not, prepare for your search by doing the following:|
|Preparing for a database search. To check the availability of full text where it is not linked from the database, open additional tabs in the browser to A-Z of Full Text, Google and the Inter-Library Request Form.|
|Finding the full text - From database to pdf. Some of the references found on a database will not have a full text link. By checking the A-Z of Journal Titles you see if the University subscribes to the journal title and, if it does, follow the links to he full text.|
|Finding the full text - From database via Google. Some references you find in a database will not be available through the University. Always check Google to see if there is any open access. If this fails use the Article request form to ask us to get it for you.|
|Finding a journal paper from a reading list, a reference given in class or a published reference list.|
|Finding a journal paper from the title in CINAHL: How to find a journal paper when the title of the paper is known and you have been directed to find it in CINAHL.|
|The following video guides demonstrate how to perform the various elements of a search on CINAHL. They have no soundtrack and none are longer than 60 seconds.|
|Accessing CINAHL from iCity|
|Entering the first search term|
|Entering a second search term|
|Combining search terms using AND|
|Limiting a search to full text and journals published in the UK and Ireland|
|Viewing the search results and full text|
|Printing a search history (search strategy)|
The Cochrane Library consists of a series of databases, all of which can be searched together.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) consists of Cochrane Systematic Reviews and Protocols for Systematic Reviews. These are Open Access and Full Text.
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) consists of abstracts for systematic reviews that have been published in journals and by other organizations. Some of these may have links to Open Access full text.
Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CCRCT) consists of references (with abstracts) to published controlled trials found in journals by the Cochrane Review Teams. These are not full text and therefore would need to be checked against the University holdings
|Searching the Cochrane Library: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR)|
|Searching the Cochrane Library: The Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effect (DARE)|
|Searching the Cochrane Library: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CCRCT)|
|Searching the Cochrane Library: Topic Searches|
NHS Evidence is the main source for health and social care guidelines. It is managed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and includes guidelines from, among others, NICE, SCIE, SIGN, and the HTA Programme as well as the NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries on current evidence and the British National Formulary (BNF).
NHS Evidence is open access and most of the documents it will find are open full text. Below are two videos which demonstrate basic searches of the two key resources (Evidence Search and CKS).
|SUMMON is a useful service to start investigating a topic. It does replace using the journal indexing services but will deliver a range of references from different disciplines, not all of which can be found in a single journal indexing database. Note that it is only searching resources subscribed to by the University and will not identify everything that will be identified by a search across multiple databases. Viewing the following videos as a sequence demonstrates how to build a search in SUMMON.|
|Searching SUMMON for full text journal papers.|
|Searching for a phrase in SUMMON. Phrase searching places two or more words in speech marks (" ").This search technique reduces the results to only those which contain the phrase. When searching for two or more words this will remove any results which only have one not the other.|
|Reducing search results by adding terms to increase focus. Because words and phrases can be used in multiple contexts, adding additional terms to give the context will help to make a search more specific to your needs.|
|In many of the databases it is possible to set up a personal account which you can then use to save search strategies, individual references and set up alerts. These accounts are not usually with the database but with the host provider. Thus it can be possible to have one account which works across multiple databases. For example: EBSCOhost supply us with CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO, British Education Index, ERIC, Child Development & Adolescent Studies and GreenFILE. One account will work across all of these databases.|
|Setting up an account with EBSCOhost|
|Saving a Search History in EBSCOhost. How to save a search strategy for future use. This can help when you have limited time to review your results or are interupted.|
|Rerunning a saved Search History in EBSCOhost|
|Saving references in EBSCOhost.|
|Creating Custom Folders in EBSCOhost. This can be a useful way of keeping track of your searches. Custom folders can be set for a topic or for a module.|
|Using Custom Folders in EBSCOhost. How to save a reference into a particular custom folder.|
|Creating an Alert in EBSCOhost. Alerts are useful if you are liable to need regular updating. For longer projects, where the literature search takes place early on, Alerts are a way of making sure that you are aware of anything published after the initial phase is complete.|
TRiP (Turning Reseach into Practice) is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.
TRiP provide a series of videos explaining how to get the most from the database. Click here to view the videos.