Each database works in a slightly different way, but understanding some key principles can really help, and so this section will take you through these step-by-step.
But there are other places you can also go to for help if you want to develop your search skills.
Help from the database publishers
Online training tutorials, guides and Help Pages from the database publishers can be a great source of help. For example:
- PubMed online training
- PubMed / Medline search for Veterinary Medicine
- Ovid online training (for Medline, CAB Abstracts and EMBASE if using the the Ovid platform)
- Scopus Learn and support
- Web of Science training and support
- Biosis training
- CAB Abstracts resources for database users (see ‘Product user guides and training videos’)
- Zoological record training
Help from librarians
Librarians and information specialists can help you to learn more about database searching, and some Libraries offer open-access database guides which anyone can use. For example:
- Database training guides provided by the Medical and Veterinary Subject Librarians at the University of Bristol, UK.
- Veterinary Medicine databases web page from the University of Edinburgh Library, UK.
- PubMed for Veterinarians
Help from YouTube
Free, open access videos, such as those on YouTube can often be incredibly useful when trying to develop a new skill, and database searching is no exception. If you are discerning, you may be able to find some excellent videos to help you learn more about effective database searching.
Let’s take a look at a database search strategy, and the key principles that can help you to find the best available evidence.