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Looking for articles on your topic?
The quickest way to find articles on a specific topic is by searching a relevant database.
The University Library subscribes to hundreds of databases, but we recommend the ones listed below as a starting point for students and researchers.
Some provide only citations for articles, so look for Article Link to connect you to the fulltext, or try one of the methods described in the column on the right to access a copy.
If you need to bulk export records from a database, check these steps first.
Recommended databases for Pharmaceutical Sciences
Embase This link opens in a new window
Embase (Excerpta Medica Database) is a major biomedical and pharmacological database; is especially strong in its coverage of drug and pharmaceutical research, pharmacology and toxicology. Embase adds over 1 million records annually.
Medline (Ovid) This link opens in a new window
Ovid MEDLINE ® covers the international literature on biomedicine, including the allied health fields and the biological and physical sciences, humanities, and information science as they relate to medicine and health care.
PubMed This link opens in a new window
PubMed is a free resource supporting the search and retrieval of biomedical and life sciences literature, including behavioural sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering. Available to the public online since 1996, PubMed was developed and is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
BIOSIS Citation Index This link opens in a new window
An expansive index to life sciences and biomedical research covering pre-clinical and experimental research, methods and instrumentation, animal studies, and more. Coverage 1926+
Cochrane Library This link opens in a new window
The Cochrane Library, produced by the international Cochrane Collaboration, is a collection of databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. Databases include the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Clinical Answers. Cochrane Library is a key resource for evidence-based medicine that integrates clinical expertise with systematic research.
SciFinder-n (registration) This link opens in a new window
First-time users must register at this site before accessing ScFinder-n.
SciFinder-n (from CAS) This link opens in a new window
SciFinder is a research discovery tool that allows you to explore the CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) databases that contain literature from many scientific disciplines spanning the biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, materials science, and more. Search by chemical structure, research topic, author, company, substance name, or reaction.
Cambridge Structural Database
The CSD records bibliographic, chemical and crystallographic information for organic molecules and metal-organic compounds, whose 3D structures have been determined using X-ray diffraction and neutron diffraction.
PubChem is a freely accessible online database for chemical information, providing comprehensive information on various chemical entities. Search chemicals by name, molecular formula, structure, and other identifiers.
A dictionary of over 400,000 chemicals (names, synonyms, and structures), linking to NLM and other databases and resources, including links to federal, state and international agencies. ChemIDplus Advanced helps users draw their own structures and perform similarity and substructure searches.
The TOXINZ™ Poisons Information Database is produced by the New Zealand National Poisons Centre at the University of Otago.
Toxline This link opens in a new window
This database, produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, provides bibliographic citations and abstracts from the core journal literature in all areas of toxicology, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pesticides, environmental pollutants and mutagens and teratogens.
As part of a broader NLM reorganization, most of NLM's toxicology information services have been integrated into other NLM products and services. Click on the Toxnet link to find out where to find the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) and TOXLINE, for references to literature on toxicology, etc.
BMJ Best Practice This link opens in a new window
A clinical decision support tool for health professionals that provides access to the latest research evidence, guidelines and expert opinion in a single source. BMJ Best Practice includes differential diagnosis tables, treatment algorithms, videos of common clinical procedures, integrated evidence from Cochrane Clinical Answers, over 250 medical calculators and more.
DynaMed This link opens in a new window
DynaMed is a clinical reference tool created by physicians for physicians and other health care professionals. It contains clinically-oriented, evidence-based summaries written by medical experts for point-of-care use by physicians, and other health care professionals.
Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCA) This link opens in a new window
(Open access. Wiley interface) CCA provides a readable, digestible, clinically focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane systematic reviews. The content is designed to be actionable and to inform decision making at the point of care.
TRIP Database This link opens in a new window
A clinical search tool designed to allow health professionals to rapidly identify the highest quality clinical evidence for clinical practice. First-time users are required to register for access.
Excellent grey literature search engine. Try the Visual tab's infographic which categorises results.
Scopus This link opens in a new window
Multidisciplinary sciences coverage. Incorporates the ScienceDirect e-journals collection; 1960+
Web of Science This link opens in a new window
Search across Web of Science Core Collection, BIOSIS Citation Index, Current Contents Connect, Inspec, and Zoological Record.
ProQuest Central This link opens in a new window
A leading database covering: business, law, education, computing, science, technology, engineering, arts, medicine
More specialist resources for Pharmaceutical Sciences
AccessPharmacy This link opens in a new window
AccessPharmacy is an online curricular resource designed for pharmacy education. Users may select a core curriculum topic, browse by organ system, review textbooks, and search across leading, current pharmacy online references. Among the titles are Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach; Pharmacotherapy Casebook: A Patient-Focused Approach; Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics; Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.
Merck Index Online This link opens in a new window
Source of information on chemicals, drugs and biologicals.
These tutorials are designed to provide a basic introduction to searching the databases.
Try these steps:
- Analyse a topic and develop a search strategy to find relevant information
- Identify the main resources for information used in academic study
- Use search techniques to effectively find information in these resources
If the article you need is not online...
Library Search | Ketu This link opens in a new window
1. Search the article title as may still subscribe to the journal title
2. Search the journal title to see if Otago holds the hard copy of the issue you need.
If Otago does not hold the issue in hard copy, submit an Interloans request for the article. Staff will try to get the article for you from another Library. Article requests are free.
Keep up to date
Set up alerts to authors, search topics, journal articles, books, chapters, journal table of contents, and combinations of these.
Use the database functions once registered for an account or profile. More tips in our Keeping up-to-date with research guide.