Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
 

Systematic Reviews: Searching Databases

How to Search CINAHL

Learn how to search in CINAHL (EBSCO) and also how to use CINAHL Subject Headings

Advanced Search Techniques on EBSCOhost to Support Systematic Reviews presented by Richard Crooke EBSCO

Searching Embase (Embase.com)

 

For more tutorials and a webinar recording on Embase

See https://libguides.library.nuigalway.ie/Medicine/EMBASE 

How to Search Medline (OVID)

 

For more tutorials and a webinar recording on Medline

See https://libguides.library.nuigalway.ie/Medicine/Medline 

Translating your search across databases

 

Before running searching in other databases, be confident that you have refined your ideas and terms sufficiently to retrieve good results in the primary core database.

It is a complex task to “translate” a search from one database to another and requires a lot of time and effort.  Essentially, you need to start again with each database.  Find out about the database structure and use your exploration of keywords, subject headings and filters on one database to start exploring the next. 

Each database provider (eg OVID, Ebsco) structures the databases differently. 

For example:

  • OVID databases (Medline, PsycInfo): default search is by subject heading
  • EBSCO databases (Medline, CINAHL, Ebsco): default search is by keyword
  • PubMed database (Medline): default search is a combination of subject heading and keyword
  • Elsevier Embase database: default search is a combination of subject heading and keyword

 

Each database (Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Embase) has a different set of subject headings.

Some databases (Web of Knowledge, SCOPUS, ERIC) don’t use subject headings, so you are relying on searching authors’ words – remember to think of different words to describe the topic.

The Cochrane Handbook has a comprehensive summary of sources and searching requirements and options in 4.S1 Technical Supplement to Chapter 4: Searching for and selecting studies [1]. 

[1]Lefebvre C, Glanville J, Briscoe S, Littlewood A, Marshall C, Metzendorf M-I, Noel-Storr A, Rader T, Shokraneh F, Thomas J, Wieland LS. Technical Supplement to Chapter 4: Searching for and selecting studies. In: Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston MS, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA (eds). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 6.1 (updated September 2020). Cochrane, 2020. Available from: www.training.cochrane.org/handbook.

 

See also:

              From Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care  (EPOC) group resources for authors https://epoc.cochrane.org/resources/epoc-resources-review-authors