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Systematic Reviews

Published Literature

The following resources are available via the Finding Information Libguide which highlights recommended resources for medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy and healthcare management, and provides a comprehensive guide to literature searching.  Clinicians based in RCSI can access all resources at the main library A-Z Resources list, and clinicians who are Beaumont Hospital staff can access all resources on the Beaumont Library A-Z Resources list.  

Core Resources

Cochrane Library

  • Cochrane Reviews
  • Registry of Clinical Trials

Database of systematic reviews including intervention and diagnostic reviews

Critically appraised and re-structured abstracts

Global registry of clinical trials

Medline / PubMed

  • Ebsco, Ovid or NLM
Major medical literature database, produced by US National Library of Medicine.
Embase Larger medical literature database with additional content to Medline/PubMed, and emphasis on European studies, pharmacological literature, and conference abstracts.  Medline / PubMed and Embase are complementary and both databases are essential for searching core clinical topics.
Web of Knowledge Large multidisciplinary databases with citation searching. Biomedical sciences, social science, conferences. 
SCOPUS Large multidisciplinary database with citation searching.

Subject  Specific  Resources
CINAHL Plus with Full Text Nursing and allied health database
PsycInfo Psychology and psychiatry database
EMERALD Management, health services, and social sciences database
ERIC Education database
Global Health Public health, international health, grey literature source
Health Business Elite Healthcare administration and management database
PEDro Physiotherapy database
TOXLINE Effects of drugs and chemicals
Westlaw Irish legal materials, including statutes and case law

Grey Literature

Grey literature covers published material not indexed in the journal databases such as Medline and Embase.  Grey literature includes technical reports, official publications, policy documents, conference papers, dissertations, patents, research in progress, usually produced by academic, government and professional organisations.

It is important to search grey literature resources in order to minimise bias in your search results.

See the Library’s Libguides area for suggestions. These webpages link to professional websites in areas such as Pharmacy, Global Health, Primary Care and specialist resources produced by organizations such as WHO, OECD and CDC.

Google Scholar is one option for searching grey literature but as it includes Medline records, it can be difficult to extract medical documents.


Grey Literature sources

NLM (National Library of Medicine, US):

National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Health Services & Sciences Research Resources (HSRR)

US National Institutes of Health  Icite Index to Preprints

Indexes the main biomedical and social science preprint datbasess: arXiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, medRxiv, Research Square, and SSRN.

Institutional repositories:  scholarly collections from academic and professional organisations


Clinical Trials