Finding journal articles for Pharmacy (databases etc.)

Why use journal articles?

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 health and medicine. 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 - quick access

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"/"View Online" links when you have located something of interest. LibrarySearch is the best starting point for most assignments.

  • University of Greenwich - access via the My Learning tab in the portal.
  • University of Kent - LibrarySearch

Databases - detailed searches

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

  • University of Greenwich - go to the My Learning tab in the Portal and select Online databases.
  • University of Kent - A-Z list available through the University webpages.

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

Core databases

  • American Chemical Society (ACS) journals - (available via Kent) - collection of key journals in all aspects of chemistry. Archive (1995 and earlier) also available via both Kent and Greenwich.
  • CINAHL - (available via Greenwich and Kent) - one of the most important databases (including lots of articles in PDF format) for clinical information for the health professions.
  • Cochrane - (available via Greenwich and Kent) - a database of systematic reviews and other key information to support evidence-based practice.
  • Medline - (available via Greenwich - see also Pubmed) - 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 sponsored by the US government. Includes everything that is listed in Medline. If you are using your University of Kent account, try accessing Pubmed via the following link - - which will display a "Full text" link on each article detail page. Clicking this link does NOT guarantee access to an article, but will run a search to see whether Kent has access to it.
  • SciFinder Scholar (available via Kent) - really useful chemistry resource including additional information on patents, reactions etc. as well as journal articles. Requires free registration using your University of Kent email address.
  • TRIP database - FREE - a tool for discovering clinical evidence, including systematic reviews, guidance, primary research and much more. Based in South Wales.

Research databases

  • Scopus (available via Greenwich and Kent) - covers the sciences and the social sciences and has a useful citation tracking feature.
  • Web of Knowledge (available via Greenwich and Kent) - covers the sciences and the social sciences and has a useful citation tracking feature. Also gives access to the Endnote Web software which can help you to store and manage all of your references effectively.

Databases on related topics

  • Analytical Abstracts (available via Kent) - database covering articles on analytical chemistry and related fields.
  • Business Source - (available via Greenwich and Kent) - useful for essays on leadership and management in all fields.
  • 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.
  • IBSS, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences -(available via Greenwich and Kent) - a social sciences database which covers many relevant topics such as public health.
  • PsycInfo - (available via Kent and Greenwich) - 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.
  • RSC Gold Digital Archive (available via Greenwich and Kent - slightly different content through each) - gives access to Royal Society of Chemistry Journals - both current and archive. Also gives access to Chemspider.
  • Social Policy and Practice - (available via Kent) - a database of evidence-based social science research which can be useful for topics relating to social policy.
  • TOXLINE - FREE - as the name suggests, this database covers literature on the toxicological effects of drugs and other substances.

Audio-visual collections

  • Henry Stewart Talks - Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection (available via Greenwich and Kent) - contains animated audio-visual presentations from "world leading scientists". Regularly updated, with over 1500 presentations (including over 500 in the Pharmaceutical Sciences section). It's like a high quality YouTube specifically for the biosciences and a great way to watch lectures and presentations to reinforce your studies.

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.)

It is also worth looking for "Help" pages on individual databases for further advice.

Off campus

Not all electronic resources work off campus. For best (and easiest!) results off campus, try using either the University of Kent's LibrarySearch tool or the EBSCOhost databases through the University of Greenwich.

You must be signed in either to the Greenwich portal or to the University of Kent system in order to access e-books or electronic journal articles. As long as you go through the library sites, this should happen automatically. If you search using Google or other search engines, you will not be able to access as many articles. Almost all electronic resources are accessible off-campus. However, you may need to go through a brief process called authentication to ensure that the journal's website recognises that you are entitled to use it. For information on Greenwich authentication, see the e-resources LibGuide. For information on Kent authentication, see the page named How to access e-resources.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License