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Audiology: 3rd year/MSc Audiology students

Help with Using Databases

These sections below give you links to PowerPoint presentations and worksheets for our most popular databases.

Subject Heading Searching

Subject headings are descriptive terms added to databases such as Medline and CINAHL to describe articles. One single subject heading is used to describe a concept, e.g. stroke for cerebrovascular accident or CVA. This means you don't need to worry about variation in spelling or jargon.

Using subject headings usually means you will find more relevant results. 

However, not all concepts neatly fit a subject heading, so you may have to do a combination of free text searching and subject headings.

See the link below for a tutorial on using subject headings.

The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library (named after Dr Archie Cochrane) is a collection of databases in medicine and other healthcare specialties provided by the Cochrane Collaboration and other organizations. At its core is the collection of Cochrane Reviews, a database of systematic reviews and meta-analyses which summarize and interpret the results of medical research.


Web of Science

Web of Science Citation Searching

Unlike most other databases, the cited reference list of each article is included in all Web of Science records, and this enables a number of valuable and unique search functions associated with the linkage between citing and cited articles.

Link to Web of Science

Evidence Search - the heath professionals alternative to Google

What is Evidence Search and what does it contain?

  • Evidence Search is an online search engine that identifies relevant clinical, public health and social care guidance.
  • Evidence Search gives free access to health, public health and social care information from over 1000 trustworthy and accredited sources.
  • All  of the information on Evidence Search is checked by a team of staff employed by NICE before it is added to the web site.
  • Its sources include the British National Formulary, Clinical Knowledge Summaries, SIGN, Cochrane Library, Social Care Online, GOV.UK, NICE Guidelines and many more.

Link to Evidence Search

Grey Literature

Grey Literature is the term given to non-traditional publications (material not published by mainstream publishers), for example leaflets, reports, conference proceedings, government documents, preprints, theses, clinical trials, blogs, tweets, etc.

The majority of Grey literature is generally not peer-reviewed so it is very important to critically appraise any grey literature before using it.

The link below will take you to a selection of sources you can use to search for Grey Literature. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and there may be other useful sources of information available.