You will need to use academic databases to find journal articles, academic papers, conference proceedings, and clinical trials. Articles tend to be more specific in scope and often take less time to publish than books so you can identify current ideas and case studies.  

In addition to the main Library Search, there are two main ways to access this type of information; using  specialist bioscience databases as well as more general academic databases that cover multidisciplines.

General :

  • Web of Science – large database providing full text and abstracts (article summaries) for peer-reviewed literature.
  • Scopus – multi-disciplinary database providing full text and abstracts (article summaries) for peer-reviewed literature.
  • GoogleScholar  – is a popular search engine to look for academic material including journal articles and books. It is a convenient way to search across the web from one place:

Subject specific databases:


PubMedindex of biomedical and life sciences literature including the Medline database. You can get help with PubMED tutorials or watch on our own excellent introductory video below:

Image linking to youtube video on using PubMed


Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection (Henry Stewart Talks) – seminar style audio-visual talks presented by world leading scientists to keep researchers up to date.

Cochrane Library – database of Cochrane systematic reviews, controlled trials, and systematic reviews, economic evaluations or health technology assessments

Using MeSH Terms in PubMed:

Medical Subject Headings or MeSH terms are used in some of the medical databases including PubMed and can really come in useful when conducting a Literature Review. They allow you to explore a subject area and find all the related ares of research.

The video below explains what they are and how to use them.


SciFinder N database for chemical literature for biochemists with access to substances, reactions and references in chemistry and related sciences. To use you first need to register using your email address

Reaxys – discover chemical structures, properties and reactions and build chemical queries to interrogate and assess compound synthesis. Links to related chemistry literature and patents.


All the World’s Primates a database of all types of primates

BioOne a database of biological, ecological and environmental journals.

Wildlife and Ecology Studies Worldwide – access to over 2.5 million records, dating back to 1982


You can also check out our digital resources directory to find others that might be useful to your studies. You might want to use databases from other subject areas if you research is inter-dsciplinary. It also cover other formats like newspapers, images, videos and theses.

As well as our paid digital resources there are a many useful websites to support your research. Take a look at the web resources tab to find sources for reports and more.