Databases

Where to start

If you are happy to do your own literature searches for evidence-based information the best place to start is with the NHS subscribed Healthcare Databases. Access is via an NHS OpenAthens password.

Training

We offer face to face and remote training sessions on how to search using HDAS [Health Databases Advanced Search]. Visit our training pages to book a place.
Download training follow up leaflet

Follow up video tutorials

A range of mini tutorials hosted on YouTube, each less than 2 minutes long, is available supplement training.

Links to help topics are also available on the database pages.

Health Education England eLearning modules

The STEP e-learning modules are aimed at anyone doing a literature search on a health related topic.They are primarily targeted towards novice searchers or those who would like a refresher. Each module has a glossary explaining key terminology in further detail. A login is not required to access the modules. To by-pass the need to log in, click on continue. However you can track learning along with other modules with e-Learning for Healthcare with an NHS OpenAthens account. Each module has the option to download a certificate.

Module 1: Introduction to searching This module provides an overview of the searching process and its main purpose is to get the user to think about their current level of knowledge. Where gaps are identified, users are directed to the most relevant modules.

Module 2: Where do I start searching? This module aims to help the user look in the right places for information based on the topic and the type of information required. It starts with some limitations of using Google and signposts users to other resources including Core content.

Module 3: How do I start to develop a search strategy? This module aims to show the user the benefits of planning a search strategy using tools such as PICO and 4Ws as well as identifying keywords and synonyms. It also covers when to use AND and when to use OR using a short video animation.

Module 4: Too many results? How to narrow your search This module aims to help the user identify and use different techniques to narrow their search and find more relevant articles in less time. techniques covered include applying limits, phrase searching and amending the search strategy.

Module 5: Too few results? How to broaden your search This module aims to help the user identify and use different techniques to increase their search results even when there doesn’t seem much available at first. Methods covered include altering search term endings, removing keywords and limits and amending the search strategy.

Module 6: Searching with subject headings This module provides an overview of how to use subject headings to broaden or narrow a search and find more relevant articles in less time.

Module 7: How to search the Healthcare Databases (HDAS) The aim of this module is to help you use the Healthcare Databases (HDAS) to find relevant articles.