Evidence based practice online databases

There are a large number of databases available for searching. This section provides links to the main databases available online. Some provide a full search function for free, others have a restricted level of free searching and they may offer a more comprehensive search function on a subscription basis. Some subscription services such as OVID and EBSCO provide access to multiple databases. Look for services that provide the option to export your search result citations to a reference management software package, such as Endnote or Reference Manager, as this can help greatly in managing your references for future use.

Most journals have a search function so if you know what you are looking for and in which journal it was published it may be better to start with the specific journal rather than a database. A list of journals can be accessed via our evidence based practice electronic journals page.

Databases in this section have been grouped under the following headings:

  • Gateways: information portals where relevant resources have been grouped together
  • EBP: resources developed in line with EBP principles
  • General bibliographic: main databases of published literature, including portals to multiple databases
  • Clinical guidelines: access to international resources
  • Outcome measures: access to information on available outcome measures
  • Current research: databases of ongoing or recently completed research

Organisations such as the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) have produced guides for searching for health technology information on the web and give details of a variety of additional reference sites.

To assist with searching for high quality evidence some of these databases have search filters that have been developed to identify high quality research evidence. Resources to help with searching and critical appraisal can be found in the Education Resources section of this website.