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Health Sciences Research Guide

Access Medicine

provides medical students with a variety of resources needed to excel in basic science studies and clerkships; helps residents, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants with instant access to videos, self-assessment, and leading medical textbooks

Tags: Leading medical textbooks, Extensive Multimedia Library, Differential Diagnosis Tool, Case files

Alt Health Watch

Alt Healthwatch is a full-text alternative health research database focused on complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness. It offers the latest information about the evolving practice of holistic medicine and therapies.

Tags: Advanced Search 


AMED: The Allied and Complementary Medicine Database offers access to complementary and alternative medicine topics, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, herbalism, homeopathy, hospice care, hypnosis, palliative care, physiotherapy, podiatry, and rehabilitation.

Tag: Advanced Search 


With CINAHL: The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, users have access to the Best and Most Current Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

Tags: CINAHL Subject Headings 

Dentistry and Oral Sciences Source

Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source offers an extensive collection of important full-text journals for dental practitioners and researchers.

Tag: Advanced Search 

Handbook of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Handbook of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) discusses its principle theories and presents a comprehensive daily practice guide for health maintenance and disease treatment. The book provides clinical practitioners with a fundamental understanding of the essence of TCM.


is an interactive, electronic herbal database provides hyperlinked access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an evidence-based information resource for professionals, researchers, and general public.

Tags: HerbalGram, HerbMedPro, The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs

Index to Chiropractic Literature

The primary goal of the Index to Chiropractic Literature is to provide indexing of the peer-reviewed literature produced by chiropractic publishers.

Tags: Free Electronic Books, Free Research Articles 

Natural Medicines

The most authoritative resource available on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary alternative and integrative therapies.

Tags: Interaction Checker, Effectiveness Checker, Nutrient Depletion, Pregnancy & Lactation, Adverse Effects 

Ovid Books

Nursing and allied health books selected by nurses for students.

Tags: Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice, Nursing Documentation Made Incredibly Easy!

Ovid Emcare 

Whether you’re involved in nursing practice or research, or you’re a nursing student at any level. With Ovid Emcare,  you can quickly and easily uncover evidence-based literature and the latest scientific advancements that support patient treatment.

Ovid Nursing Full Text Articles

Ovid offers a collection of current journals, books, and databases for nurses involved in practice, education, and research.


PubMed® comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.

Tags: MeSH Database, Finding Full Text, Clinical Queries 

R2 Digital Library

The R2 Digital Library features a comprehensive collection of medical, nursing and allied health eBooks

Tag: Browse by Discipline

Science Reference Center

Science Reference Center contains full text for hundreds of science magazines, journals, encyclopedias, reference books and a vast collection of images.

Tag: Science Image Collection 

Science Direct

ScienceDirect is the world’s leading source for scientific, technical, and medical research. Explore journals, books and articles.

Tags: Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities


Scopus is a multidisciplinary citation and abstract database for research literature. Several tools are available for tracing, analysing and visualising research information. The covered science fields are: Sciences, Technology, Medicine, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.

The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is the leading resource for systematic reviews in health care.

Tags: Browse Clinical Answers Browse by Topic


UpToDate is  designed to provide physicians access to current clinical information. It addresses specific clinical issues in the form of topic reviews.

Tags: Topics by SpecialtyWhat’s new, Practice Changing UpDates, Drug Information, Drug Interactions

Applying MeSH in Pubmed:

  1. Utilize Medical Subject Headings (Mesh)
  2. Access PubMed
  3. Click on “Pubmed”
  4. Towards the bottom right, under “More Resources” click on MESH”
  5. Input a keyword to find the medical synonym for that term i.e. if you type in “low blood sugar” the mesh term will be “hypoglycemia”
  6. Now, on the right there is a search builder box
  7. Click on “add to search builder” to add your MeSH term
  8. Begin to build a search in the box by searching your next keyword i.e. home blood glucose monitoring whereas the MeSH term for this is “Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring” but before adding the latter term to your search builder box.
  9. Make sure you have the correct Boolean term (AND, OR, NOT). See below for further explanation.
  10. Click on “Search PubMed”
  11. On the left you can filter your results by article type. By choosing “customize.” Then check off, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and randomized clinical trials.
  12. Once done, actually click on the type of article you want to see in your results. Only when there is a check next to the specific article type will the results be filtered.
  13. Additional filters can be added by date, age, gender so forth. Using the same method applied in step #11 and #12 above.
  14. Another helpful feature is located right above your results, choose“format” then choose “abstract.” This allows you to read abstracts without having to be directed to another page.
  15. In addition, under each article there is a “+” symbol
  16. Click on this “+” symbol to expand MeSH terms used to index an article that is close to your topic. This allows you to utilize new MeSH terms to create a new search for different but perhaps more precise results.

What is MeSH?

MeSH (medical subject headings), are indexing terms are used by the National Library of Medicine, including PubMed / Medline, to organize and make retrieval of citations easier. MeSH enhance searches by making it easier to attain consistent results when searching for articles in a given topic area.  MeSH is the NLM’s Controlled Vocabulary.

How to ‘translate’ your search terms to their MeSH equivalents:

Starting on the PubMed homepage, switch to the MeSH database by selecting it from the pull-down menu near the search box.

Type a search word in the search box, then click Search.You will be taken to a page with search results. These are MeSH terms.

Click on the search result most applicable to your topic. You will be brought to a page listing relevant MeSH terms, including the main subject heading and related subheadings (more specific concepts related to that MeSH term).To the right is a search box. This is the PubMed Search Builder.Choose a MeSH term or one of the subheadings, then click Add to Search Builder to start creating a search query.

When done ‘translating’ all of your search terms into MeSH and adding them to the search builder, click the Search PubMed button to run the search. You will then be brought to a regular PubMed search results page.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Just MeSH:

New articles, including ‘pre-prints’, are often available to view on PubMed for months before bring indexed. This means they may not show up in a search built solely with MeSH terms. If you are searching for very recent articles, or are doing a thorough literature review on a topic, you should combine both MeSH and regular ‘keyword’ search terms together in your search query. You can add regular keywords to the Search Builder after choosing MeSH terms before running a search.

NOTE: When you are running a regular (non-MeSH) search on PubMed, your search words are automatically ‘translated’ by the search engine into their MeSH equivalents (when those are available) as well, and these are added to your search query alongside the search words you already used.

What are Boolean Operators?

Use AND in a search to:

  • narrow your results
  • tell the database that ALL search terms must be present in the resulting records
  • example: cloning AND humans AND ethics

Use OR in a search to:

  • connect two or more similar concepts (synonyms)
  • broaden your results, telling the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the resulting records
  • example: cloning OR genetics OR reproduction

Use NOT in a search to:

  • exclude words from your search
  • narrow your search, telling the database to ignore concepts that may be implied by your search terms
  • example:  cloning NOT sheep

Brianne McKissick

Health Science Librarian

(203) 576-2383