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WHSL Introduction to Research in the Biomedical Sciences: 4. Find References to Articles in Databases

Helpful information for undertaking the research process in the biomedical sciences

Use Databases to Search for Journal Articles

Use journal indexes and abstracts (from databases) to find references (citations) to articles. The indexes and abstracts at Wits are mostly computer-based (electronic). Choose the database/s best suited to your particular topic; ask at WHSL's information desk if you need help deciding which database is best for your subject area. If the full text (the entire article, as opposed to just the abstract or summary) is not linked in the database you are using, write down the citation (author, article title, journal title, volume, issue, year of publication and pages) from the database and search for the title of the periodical in the e-journal finder on the Wits catalogue. 

The most common databases used to find journal articles in the biomedical sciences are:

Additional tutorials can also be found in the box below.
With kind permission this content is based on original material created by Olin Library Reference, Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-non-Commercial-Share-Alike 2.5 License


Click on the links below to view tutorials on how to use the various databases to locate journal articles on specific topics.

Scholarly (Academic) Articles

Although all kinds of information is readily available (eg. from Blogs, websites, etc.), you are expected to use the academic or scholarly materials for any kind of research. This may be advanced research for a Masters dissertation or research report, or it may be basic research for the purposes of finding material to use in your assignmnts and essays at undergraduate level. 

You will obtain far better results (marks) if you use the scholarly (academic databases) than if you simply search using Google. If you can find no information on the databases suggested in this guide, then try searching for an article using Google Scholar. You may not always be able to find the full text of the articles found on Google Scholar however, and not all Google Scholar articles are the final versions of the article. You could find that you have used a version of an article that has later been corrected by the authors, and so the information used in your research may be incorrect.

Print Journals @ WHSL

Remember that WHSL's journal collection dates back to the late 1800s in the case of some journals. Not all of the articles in the older journals will be available electronically.

Use the e-Wits catalogue to locate print journals. Search the catalogue under journal title.

Bound Journals