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Where and how to apply search protocol


Identify the relevant databases for your review. The Library website has a list of subscribed databases, each with a description of its scope and coverage. See QUT Library's specialised search tools.


Below is a list of some of the most important bibliographic databases in Health:

Medline (via EBSCOhost) 

Provides authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. Created by the National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE uses MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) indexing with tree numbers, tree hierarchy and explosion capabilities to search abstracts from over 4,600 current biomedical journals.


Provides complete coverage of English-language nursing journals and publications from the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses' Association, CINAHL Plus with Full Text covers nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines.


Contains more than one million citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations and technical reports in the field of psychology. Journal coverage, which spans from 1887 to present, includes international material selected from more than 1,700 periodicals in over 35 languages. More than 60,000 records are added each year. It also includes information about the psychological aspects of related disciplines such as medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, physiology, linguistics, anthropology, business and law.

Cochrane Library

Including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.


A comprehensive source of online biomedical answers, Embase helps you track adverse drug events, compare drug therapies for disease, and search for evidence-based medicine research.

Web of Science

A suite of Citation databases including; Book Citation Index – Science and Social  Sciences & Humanities, Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Science and Social Science & Humanities, Current Chemical Reactions and  Index Chemicus.

Grey Literature

Literature that is NOT published in traditional sources such as books and journals is referred to as “Grey literature”.

Conference proceedings and theses are the most common types of Grey literature in the academic context, but examples also include technical and research reports, government publications, policy papers, annual reports, fact sheets, maps, geological surveys and statistics.

Sources of grey literature

Dissertations and Theses:

Conference abstracts & proceedings:

  • Directory of Published Papers : contains material from more than 40,000 conferences & symposia, across Science/Technology, Medical/Life Sciences, Pollution Control/Ecology, Social Sciences/Humanities.

Australian sources of grey literature:

 International sources of grey literature:

  • World Health Organization
  • The Grey Literature Report : The report is a bimonthly publication of The New York Academy of Medicine Library alerting readers to new grey literature publications in health services research and selected public health topics.
  • Grey Matters: a practical search tool for evidence-based medicine: Published by The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). Provides details on where to locate grey literature in Australia and other countries.
  • OpenGrey: System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe, is your open access to 700.000 bibliographical references of grey literature (paper) produced in Europe and allows you to export records and locate the documents.
  • National Technical Information Service (U.S.): The National Technical Information Service is the largest central resource for U.S. government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information.
  • OAIster: OAIster is a union catalog of millions of records representing open access resources including theses, technical reports and research papers.
  • Google: A search of Google using keywords and the advanced search functionality allows for limiting searches to specific domains such as government or research web sites. This can be useful for tracking down grey literature.
  • PsychEXTRA: Covers technical, annual and government reports, conference papers, newsletters, magazines, newspapers and consumer brochures in  psychology.
  • CogPrints: A self-archive for papers in any area of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics, and many areas of Computer Science.
  • Mednar: A federated search engine of peer-reviewed medical resources. 
  • OpenDOAR - Directory of Open Access Repositories

Hand Searching

Hand searching is the manual examination of resources which are not indexed electronically, such as special issues of journals or conference proceedings.

Study Registers

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Covers trials being undertaken in Australia, New Zealand on the therapeutic areas of pharmaceuticals, surgical procedures, preventive measures, lifestyle, devices, treatment and rehabilitation strategies and complementary therapies. Database of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world.

UK CRN Study Portfolio

EU Clinical Trials Register

Chinese Clinical Trial Registry A register for trials supported by Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, and is a member of Ottawa Statement Group.

Clinical Trials Registry India

Internet Portal of the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS)

ISRCTN Register The ISRCTN is a numeric system for the unique identification of randomised controlled trials worldwide.

Netherlands Trial Register

Pan African Clinical Trials Registry

Current Controlled Trials

WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform