Finding articles for health care and medicine

Journal articles are a key source of information which you will need for your studies, and also in your professional life. There is an ever-growing emphasis on evidence-based practice (EBP) in all fields connected with health and medicine (and beyond!), and journal articles are likely to be one of the most important sources of evidence. The best ways to track these down are LibrarySearch and subject databases.


LibrarySearch is a service which allows you to search the books (including e-books), journal articles and other information available through your library. It is designed to be simple to search and to provide access to as many resources as possible. It is best to SIGN IN before searching and to click "View Online" links when you have located something of interest. LibrarySearch is the best starting point for most assignments.

Each of the Universities at Medway either has launched LibrarySearch already or is in the process of doing so:

  • University of Greenwich - access via the Library and Computing tab in the portal.
  • University of Kent - LibrarySearch - Sign In to get more results.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University - LibrarySearch. Signing in is absolutely essential - otherwise you will not be able to read any of the articles you find. See also the LibrarySearch guides page for additional help.


Databases are subject-specific ways to search for journal articles or other types of information. Each of the 3 Universities at Medway has access to useful databases and there are some available free on-line. Using databases is absolutely essential for literature reviews, dissertations and other large-scale research projects. This is because the subject focus is really helpful and also because they can direct you towards information that isn't available through the main LibrarySearch screen. To access databases:

  • University of Greenwich - go to the Library and Computing tab in the Portal and select Databases, journals and e-books.
  • University of Kent - A-Z list available through the University webpages.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University - sign in to LibrarySearch and select Find Databases (top left) for a searchable A-Z list.

There are many databases available. The ones listed below are my top suggestions. For the most part, I have not included collections of journals from specific publishers (e.g. Sage, Wiley, Internurse or ScienceDirect), as you can find the articles in the journals through LibrarySearch or the more subject specific databases in the list.


  • Cochrane - (available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU) - a database of systematic reviews and other key information to support evidence-based practice.
  • EPPI Centre - FREE - excellent resource for systematic reviews in the fields of health promotion, public health and education. The EPPI Centre is Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre at the Institute of Education.
  • Medline - (available via Greenwich and CCCU) - one of the biggest biomedical databases in the world, particularly useful if your topic is more 'medical' in its nature
  • PubMed - FREE - the most comprehensive free database covering biomedicine and related disciplines. Some of the research on here is available freely online - this is often research that was sponsored by the US government. Includes everything that is listed in Medline.
  • TRIP database - FREE - a tool for discovering clinical evidence, including systematic reviews, guidance, primary research and much more. Based in South Wales.

Nursing and Midwifery

  • British Nursing Index - (available via CCCU) - this has a focus on UK practice, and is useful for midwives and ODPs as well as nurses.
  • CINAHL - (available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU) - one of the most important databases (including lots of articles in PDF format) for nursing and allied health, covering most Health and Social Care subjects.
  • Maternity and Infant Care (available via CCCU) - a key database for midwifery and neonatal care.

Allied Health

  • CINAHL - (available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU) - one of the most important databases (including lots of articles in PDF format) for nursing and allied health, covering most Health and Social Care subjects.
  • MLA International Bibliography - (available via Kent and CCCU) - includes lots of information on linguistics, so useful for Speech and Language Therapy.
  • OT Seeker - FREE - a database for occupational therapists containing references to systematic reviews and clinical trials.
  • SpeechBITE - FREE - a database for speech and language therapists, speech pathologists and other related professions. It covers systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials and other forms of evidence.

Psychology and mental health

  • PsycArticles - (available via Kent, Greenwich and CCCU) - contains the full text of many journals published by the American Psychological Association.
  • PsycBITE - FREE - a database of "studies of cognitive, behavioural and other treatments for psychological problems and issues occurring as a consequence of acquired brain impairment (ABI)".
  • PsycInfo - (available via Kent, Greenwich and CCCU) - large database with a focus on peer-reviewed information in mental health and behavioural science.
  • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection - (available via Greenwich) - provides access to articles from over 500 useful psychology journals.

Sociology, public health and education

  • ASSIA - (available via CCCU) - a social sciences database which is useful for finding information on topics such as public health and health promotion.
  • British Education Index - (available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU) - useful for any topics touching on education, childhood and related topics. You may also like to explore ERIC, which has a more international scope.
  • Business Source - (available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU) - useful for essays on leadership and management in all fields, including healthcare and sport.
  • IBSS, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences -(available via Greenwich, Kent and CCCU) - a social sciences database which covers many relevant topics.
  • Social Care Online - FREE - a really useful free database from the Social Care Institute of Excellence.
  • Social Policy and Practice - (available via Kent and CCCU) - a database of evidence-based social science research which can be useful for topics including social care, socia work, public health, homelessness and community care.

Sports medicine/sports therapy

  • Human Kinetics - (available via Kent) - access to a number of really useful journals for Sport and Exercise Sciences.
  • Pedro - FREE - focused on physiotherapy, this site can be a useful research resource for sports therapy.
  • SportDiscus - (available via Greenwich and CCCU) - useful for topics relating to exercise and fitness, rehabilitation from sports injuries and also orthopaedics.

Using databases

Each database has its own specialisms and unique features, but the basic use of most of them is very similar. You can come in to the library for assistance, or access online help. Below is a presentation which outlines one way of doing a comprehensive search for information on large databases (e.g. Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo etc.)

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