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Effective Database Searching: Biomedicine

This guide to key library databases helps you decide which databases to use and assists you in searching them more effectively.

Biomedicine Databases

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all biomedical databases. It is a list of the most commonly-used databases in biomedicine available through the Mayo Clinic Libraries.

MEDLINE (Ovid) contains over 19 million records to journal articles in life sciences with a concentration on biomedicine. [Produced by the National Library of Medicine and presented with Ovid’s searching interface]

-MEDLINE (Ovid) guide


PubMed contains all of Medline as well as some general science citations.  It is freely available. [Maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine]

-PubMed guide 


EMBASE (Ovid) contains over 25 million records, largely international in scope, including all of Medline as well as medical conference papers.  Pharmacology and toxicology topics are highly represented. [Produced by Elsevier and presented with Ovid’s searching interface]

-EMBASE (Ovid) guide


Mayo Authors contains over 230,000 records and uniquely covers Mayo authored articles, books, book chapters and meeting abstracts (1871-present). [Produced by Mayo Clinic Library staff]

-Mayo Authors guide


Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Ovid) contains over 5,000 systematic reviews of the highest standard for evidence-based practice. [Produced by the Cochrane Collaboration and presented with Ovid’s searching interface]

-Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Ovid) guide


Scopus contains over 47 million citations, including conference papers, representing life sciences, health sciences (comprising all of Medline), physical sciences, social sciences and humanities from worldwide publishers. It also includes sophisticated tools to analyze research activity. [Produced by Elsevier]

-Scopus guide


Web of Science contains 32 million citations providing broad coverage of the basic sciences as well as the clinical sciences. It also has special tools to analyze research activity, including cited reference searching. [Produced by Thompson Reuters]

-Web of Science guide