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Health Science: Where to Search

This guide contains resources and guidance to help students completing the Bachelor of Health Science.

Deciding where to search


The search you have developed on the Plan your search page will help you find information - however, where you choose to search will depend on the type of information you need.

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Useful for providing an overview of a topic or issue. Contains background information and context and is very useful as a starting point for research - especially if you are new to a topic!

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Journal Articles

Contains the latest research on very specific topics and often contains in-depth analysis. Journal articles are published more quickly than books so can be used to find more up to date information.

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Grey Literature

This includes government or non-government organisation (NGO) reports, guidelines and statistics. They often contain an overview of an issue as it applies to a specific region, state, country or worldwide.

This page will go over finding books and journal articles. Have a look at the grey literature page for finding reports and other unpublished materials.

Finding Books and Articles


Books and textbooks provide broad overviews of a topic and are a great place to start. The best place to find books is by using the Library catalogue.

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  • Sign in to see all results.
  • Keep it simple! Search using a few keywords, don't put in a whole sentence.
  • Double check which edition book you are looking at

Re-visit the Plan Your Search page for more help.

How to read a library record

Click on the ? symbol to learn more.

Finding journal articles 


Journal articles are great for getting in-depth information on particular issues. They are published more regularly than books so you can find more up to date information.

You can find some journal articles by using the Library catalogue, but we recommend you look in a discipline-specific databases like Medline, ProQuest Health and Medicine or CINAHL.

Have a look through the tabs below to help choose which database to search in and to see database tutorials and tips!

Have a look below to get an idea of what database is right for you! 

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Medline is a large medicine and health database, with extensive US coverage. 

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ProQuest: Health & Medicine

ProQuest is a large multidisciplinary database which in addition to journal articles, contains reports, conference papers, books, newspaper articles and much more.

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CINAHL provides authoritative coverage of the literature related to a wide variety of nursing and allied health topics.

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Embase is a large medicine database with focus on drugs, medical devices and health topics. It covers a number of European journals.

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Tips for Database Searching

  • Think of different synonyms for your keywords. With databases, you only get what you ask for. So if you search for 'childhood' you will miss out on articles where researchers have used the term 'children' or 'child'
  • Use boolean operators like AND and OR to tell the database exactly what you'd like it to find
  • Use double quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together, otherwise the database will look for those words separately
  • Refine by 'peer reviewed' - this means that the article has been checked by a panel of experts before being published and ensures that you are relying in authoritative information