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Advanced Literature Search Guide for Health: STEP 4: Choose your databases

Step 4: Choose your databases

This page will help you with choosing which databases will be best to use for your literature search. 

Choosing a database

To ensure your search is comprehensive, you should search several specialist databases using the ones that are most relevant to your topic. 

Make sure you are using the right tool for the job.

Assorted tools arranged on a peg board

Look at the description of the database to see if it will be relevant to your topic. For example, if your topic deals with mental health, you may want to consider trying your search in both general health databases and one or more psychology databases. If your question deals with management in healthcare, a management database may also be appropriate. 

If you start searching and are not getting many results, it might be worthwhile looking in another database to see if it has content that is more relevant to your topic. 

Recommended databases

Take a look at the A-Z of Databases and filter to your subject to see a full list of recommended databases with links to access them. 

Underneath each database is a short description of what you will find within it. Remember, think about what the right tool is for the job. Which database has most relevance to your topic? 

If you would like further help on choosing databases or want to know more about using any of them, take a look at the videos opposite, look at the help section of the database or book a one-to-one appointment with a Librarian

Database searching videos

The videos below demonstrate an example search in some of the health databases we have available at UoS. 

Access these databases and more in our A-Z. 


CINAHL search- 10/01/2023, 09:00:52 from Graham Martindale on Vimeo.


British Nursing Database 

Searching BND - 10/01/2023, 09:14:22 from Graham Martindale on Vimeo.

All images included in this guide are available from Upsplash through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0