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Finding Information

About Databases At RCSI

Databases allow a user to search for information that is housed in one place. RCSI offers a high quality collection of medical databases within our A-Z Resources which index clinical practice and research journals worldwide. These databases offer comprehensive access to all major peer reviewed journal sources on healthcare, providing:

  • Access to journals in medicine, nursing, clinical specialties and general healthcare
  • Advanced search features to focus your search: eg: therapies, population or setting
  • Direct links to full text journal content and options to save your searches

Medline/PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane and Scopus are among the best known databases and are widely used by students, researchers and clinicians worldwide. There are also databases for publications in specialist subjects such as chemistry, general and healthcare management, finance, law, economics, education, international studies and global health. 

Link to A-Z LibGuides page

Step by Step Guides to Key Databases

  • Click on the tabs for a guide to each database

  • Training videos on a range of databases are here
  • A full list of databases is here

Produced by the American Psychological Association, APA PsycInfo provides access to abstracts and summaries of literature in the fields of behavioural and social sciences.

CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health) includes almost 4 million records from more than 3000 journals in nursing, consumer health, complementary medicine and 17 allied health disciplines. Full text is available from 760 journals from 1937.

A training video on searching CINAHL Plus with Full Text is available through this link.

An instructional video on how to access CINAHL Plus with Full Text is available here.

The Cochrane Library is a specialist resource, reporting reviews of the effectiveness of clinical interventions and diagnostics. Globally the Cochrane Collaboration expert groups evaluate and synthesize evidence on clinical topics and publish systematic and other reviews. The Cochrane Library contains the complete reviews and a database of clinical trial reports. Much smaller than the journal indexes, the Cochrane Library is an important tool for discovering emerging clinical evidence.

About Cochrane

Embase is a Medicine and Pharmacy database.  It is an essential resource to search when you are writing a systematic review, scoping review, thesis, or journal article for publication.  The Advanced Search allows you to search for keywords and Emtree subject headings at the same time if you tick all the Mapping options. 

Embase contains Medline content within it, so if you have already searched Medline, you can exclude that content from your results list by adding this code to the end of your search string: NOT [medline]/lim.  Alternatively, you can click on the Sources filter on the results page, and click on the Embase portion of the venn diagram and click on Apply

The library provides tutorials on searching Embase which can be booked on our Clinical Query Service Online Form here.


A training video on searching Embase is available through this link.

Emerald is a publisher who focus on business and management topics, and you can search their index to find content covering finance, economics, education, social care and management and including specialist areas such as operations, logistics and property. 


ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) is a widely used index to educational-related literature.

Global Health is specialist abstracting and indexing database focusing on public health. It contains over 3 million scientific records from 1973 to the present, derived from over 7,300 journals, reports, books and conferences. It has a growing number of full text articles (over 90,000) from journals, conferences, and reports.

Health Business Elite provides content on all aspects of healthcare administration and other non-clinical aspects of healthcare institution management

The Medline database is generally recognized as the premier source for bibliographic and abstract coverage of biomedical literature. Widely used by students, researchers and clinicians, the data from the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) is available in various versions.  Medline records appear in many databases but RCSI Library offers three versions: via PubMed, Ovid and Ebsco. PubMed is the NLM version and it is globally available and free to all. Each version enables optimum searching and results but access, features and interfaces differ, as summarised below.

Medline Platform Features


  • Latest, current records
  • Complete Medline and includes extra PubMed Central content
  • Precise Medical Subject Heading indexing
  • Quick limits to filter and focus results 
  • Click to ‘related articles’ and ‘free full text’
  • Save searches; share results
  • Remembers your searches
  • Journal titles are abbreviated
  • Pre-set “Clinical Queries” for therapy and diagnostics
  • Good help & tutorials
  • Offers keyword & subject heading in one search 
  • Guided steps to select best search terms
  • Powerful ‘words adjacent’ search
  • Flexible limits to focus search results
  • Ease of capture and download
  • Save searches; share results
  • Click to RCSI journal availability
  • Offers keyword and subject heading search from start
  • Powerful ‘words adjacent’ search
  • Precise indexing
  • Click to RCSI journal availability
  • Include other healthcare databases in one search


Training videos on Medline are available below. 

Scopus is a large multidisciplinary abstract and citation database. It also includes the full Medline database.

Web of Science is a large general index which includes all the biomedical sciences but it has an important subfile  ‘Social Sciences Index.’ This indexes journals in health services, public administration, business, economics, environment, management, education, finance, law, social policy and interdisciplinary studies.  It includes the specialist feature citation indexing to enable you to find all publications citing one research article.