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Systematic Reviews

Published Literature

Links to the following resources can be found on the A-Z Resources   

Core Resources

Cochrane Library

  • Cochrane Reviews
  • Other reviews
  • Clinical Trials

Intervention & diagnostic reviews

Critically appraised and re-structured abstracts

CENTRAL register of clinical trials
Medline (available at RCSI through Ebsco, Ovid or PubMed Major medical literature database, produced by US National Library of Medicine.   
Embase Strong on European studies, pharmacological literature, conference abstracts. Both Medline and Embase are complementary and 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
PsycInfo Psychology & psychiatry
EMERALD Management, health services, social sciences
ERIC Education
Global Health Public health, international health, grey literature
Health Business Elite Healthcare administration and management
PEDro Physiotherapy
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 website and the 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.


System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe, includes bibliographic references to research reports, dissertations, conference papers and more.

NLM (National Library of Medicine, US)


Institutional repositories:  scholarly collections from academic and professional organisations

  • OpenDOAR: Directory of Repositories  
  • Bielefeld Base: European research resources   
  • Lenus: HSE Ireland health documentation  
  • RIAN: Irish research centres   
  • RCSI Repository: Open access repository of research and scholarly output of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Social Science Research Network: Number of specialized research networks in social sciences and health services.  

Websites of relevant professional organisations: see guides at


Clinical Trials