Medical bibliographic databases
Lukas Holzer and John Eyers describe how to use databases to search the medical literature
- By: Lukas A Holzer, John E Eyers
There are many types of medical databases. They cover medical and scientific literature, morbidity and mortality statistics, therapeutic regimens, patient records, x ray films, and reviews of evidence based medicine. Most undergraduate medical courses include an introduction to bibliographic databases, but this is often given at an inappropriate time such as the beginning of the first year and is usually too brief to be of much use. In medicine such databases are essential search tools for research and clinical practice, providing the latest scientific insights and evidence based medicine.
Most databases index the journal literature, but some interdisciplinary databases also include books, conference reports, newsletters, and other forms of publication. As tens of thousands of biomedical journals are published worldwide, most bibliographic databases will not index the total literature. Selection criteria are usually based on a number of factors, including whether the journal is peer reviewed (the process in which