The first 6 on this list should be your top, must try, databases for your search. The ones lower down the list will also be useful to you depending on the topic you are searching for.
British Nursing Database
If you're looking specifically for something which happens in the UK or within the NHS, this is the only one of our main databases which is produced in the UK and covers some UK journals which aren't indexed elsewhere. Be careful and make sure you choose the 'Anywhere except full text' option from the drop down menu when you do a search so that you don't get articles where your search term is mentioned once deep into the article or in its references list.
This is a large database, is easy to use and it's easy to access the things Brookes subscribes to in full text. It is North American, but includes research from all over the world, including the UK.
If you are trying to find out how effective a treatment is then search this database which indexes Cochrane reviews. A Cochrane review is seen as the gold standard of evidence based healthcare as it brings together every piece of research on an intervention from around the world and draws conclusions based on all of the evidence available.
If your topic deals with psychological needs, lifespan development, any kind of mental health issue or cognitive impairment, then make sure you look at this database which is our main psychology and mental health database.
If you're looking for information about medical conditions and their treatment, PubMed is a huge and useful database. It's really good for looking at the science behind conditions, good for things like finding information on pre-hospital emergency care worldwide, but less good at finding articles about thoughts and feelings.
Social Services Abstracts
This database provides coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development. If you're doing a search on this database, always choose the 'Anywhere except full text' option from the drop down menu when you do a search so that you don't get articles where your search term is mentioned once deep into the article or in its references list.
Academic Search Complete
This is a general database which covers all subject areas including health. If you aren't sure whether your topic might stray from healthcare into education, politics or even tourism, then search this database and see what journals come up.
A database of systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions, such as education, crime and justice, and social welfare. It's an American database and is freely available on and off campus
If your topic is about management of services, try this database.
Extensive medical database. Searched automatically as part of a PubMed search, so you don't need to search both databases, but if you're struggling with a PubMed search then try this instead. It's 99% peer reviewed and is easy to use as it's hosted by the same people as CINAHL so looks the same.
This is an open access database, so gives free access to SIGLE bibliographical references of reports and other grey literature produced in Europe. It's worth looking here for grey literature for your dissertation.
A good database to try if you're an OT as it contains abstracts of systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials relevant to occupational therapy. But you can't do a proper systematic search on here, so just try a couple of key terms.
Physiotherapy Evidence Database produced by the Centre for Evidence Based physiotherapy at the University of Sydney. You can't use a comprehensive search strategy on this database so just try a few of your keywords.
Social Care Online
A great database for social and community care, includes Department of Health circulars. A lot of NHS research is no longer published in journals, but you can find it here.
Great if you're doing your assignment on sociology and political theory.
Useful database for the management and practice of primary health care and disability in developing countries
Useful for physiotherapy if your topic looks at sports medicine, exercise physiology, physical fitness, sports science, sports psychology, biomechanics, training, teaching, programming and coaching
Web of Science
This is a large multi-disciplinary database, could be useful for international material. You can also do a search on this database to find other articles which have used a specific article as a reference. Have a look at the Citation Searching guide on our 'How to...' list for more information on how to do this.
British Library's electronic table of contents. Covers about 20,000 current journals and conference proceedings in many key subject areas