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Primary Health Care

Searching for Evidence


What is it?Pubmed is the major database for searching the health sciences literature.
Highlights:Has been designed to make it easy for busy clinicians to search.
Fulltext availability: There is a mixture of fulltext and subscribed journals. You can limit to free fulltext.
Search tips:In the main search box, enter words or phrases to search. The search in the example below will find records which contain the phrases “primary care” and “continuity of care”.
PubMed search example
  1. Click the Search button.
  2. The results from the search will be listed with search filters on the left, giving you options on ways of limiting your search. Clicking on Free full text or Full text will limit the search to free full text articles only.
  3. Click on the Show additional filters link to view teh full list of filters with which the results can be refined.
  4. Clicking on the filter displays the filter. You then need to click on the specific filter to limit your search.
PubMed filter list

Titles with your search term

PubMed gives you the option of searching for records with titles that contain your search terms.

PubMed title search

View the full text

To view the full text of an article, click on the title of the record. The details of that article will then be displayed along with links to the full text.

PubMed view full text

PubMed Clinical Queries

What is it?PubMed Clinical Queries is a search tool designed to limit to clinical studies or systematic reviews.
Highlights:A very quick way of locating the latest research evidence.
Fulltext availability: A mixture of subscription only and open access journals.
Search tips:Please see this PubMed Tutorial for guidelines on searching clinical research.


What is it?TRIP is a free clinical search engine, designed to help clinicans identify the best evidence in order answer clinical questions.
Fulltext availability: A mixture of subscription only and open access journals. Some content and functionality is only available to subscription users.
Searching tips:TRIP is designed to be very easy to search. You can refine your search results by evidence type – See the menu on the right.

Google Scholar

What is it?A freely available search engine that is designed for easy searching of the academic literature.
Fulltext availability: A mixture of subscribed journals and open access journals.
Searching tips:Find phrases: “deep vein thrombosis".
Find variations or synonyms: warfarin OR aspirin.
Combine to search: “deep vein thrombosis” AND (warfarin OR aspirin).
Note: Google Scholar displays the more heavily cited, older material first. For more recent material, apply a date range:
Google Scholar search tip