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Pharmaceutical Sciences: Searching for information

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

More specialist resources for Pharmaceutical Sciences

Critical Appraisal Checklists

Critical appraisal skills enable you to systematically assess the trustworthiness, relevance, quality and consistency of results in published papers. Select the critical appraisal checklist matching the research paper's study design, from these sites:

Assess your findings

Evaluating and thinking critically about sources of information are important skills to develop and apply while undertaking research.

Not all information is reliable and appropriate for academic work, and not all information is relevant to your particular topic.

You should challenge and reflect on information that you find; don’t just accept everything you read.

Work through this tutorial to develop your skills in evaluating information that you find online:

What the CRAPP Tutorial

Or apply these terms to assess if the information you have found answers your research question.




Purpose/Point of view

Work through this tutorial to develop your skills in evaluating information that you find online:

SIFT - Evaluating Information Tutorial

Even though the library databases are good sources of information, we still need to evaluate that information before we decide to use it. You can do this by asking the following questions:

  • Is the information relevant to your topic?​
  • Who are the authors, are they experts in the field? Who do they work for? What else have they written?​
  • What evidence is given, what references are given, and what methodology is used?​
  • How is the study funded? Is there a bias?​
  • When was the information written, is it still relevant? Has it been updated or amended in light of new evidence?


For more information and resources, check out the ‘Evaluating information: additional resources’ box at the bottom of this page.

Online Ovid Medline tutorials

OVID offers a range of training videos at e.g. 

MEDLINE (18:11 min) 

Ovid TermFinder (3:55 min) 

Advanced Search: Keyword Searching (3:58 min) 

Advanced Search: Mapping (4:32 min) 

Managing Search Results (8:47 min) 

Refining Search Strategy with Limits (2:59 min)

Embase (24:39 min) 

Finding Information

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...

Try these options:

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.