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Literature Searching: Database Comparisons

Learn more about how to use library resources to search for clinical information.

Comparison Chart

The key to finding the right information is knowing where to find it. Each database that MCW Libraries provides access to is limited in its scope, coverage and special features. Some databases only search for journal articles, while others also search books and proceedings. Some databases cover broad disciplines, while other focus narrowly on certain areas.

Use the comparison chart to learn more about some of our most popular databases.

  Google Scholar CINAHL Scopus ClinicalKey Ovid/MEDLINE
What kind of materials can I find? Find articles, conference proceedings, patents, meeting abstracts, poster presentations Find articles, book chapters, theses Find articles, conference proceedings, meeting abstracts Find articles, book chapters, guidelines, patient education, multimedia Find articles. 
Is the full text available? Set up the "Get It From MCW Libraries" links to connect to the full text. If the article isn't available, use this link to to request the article. Use the “Get It From MCW Libraries” links to access the article, or to request it if it isn't available. Full text isn’t available in Scopus, but there are links to the publisher’s website where you might be able to retrieve the article, or you can use the “Get It From MCW Libraries” to request the article. Full text is available for all the content except journal articles. Articles may or may not be available, but the “Get It From MCW Libraries” can be used to request the article if it isn’t available. Use the “Get It From MCW Libraries” links to access the article, or to request it if it isn't available.
What is the scope of this resource? All scholarly literature from every imaginable discipline. Nursing and allied health, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietetic services, and speech pathology.  Science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities Clinical medicine. Biomedical sciences.
How are the results sorted? Results are sorted by relevancy and number of times cited. Results are sorted by relevance, but this can be changed to date, author or source. Results are sorted by date published, but this can be changed to relevance, author or source. Results are sorted by relevance, but this can be changed to date. Results are sorted by date published, but this can be changed to relevance, author or source.
What are some special features of this resource? Easy to use, free, "cited by" lets me see how the article has been used. CINAHL gives prompts for suggested search terms, easy to create a search using Boolean operators.. Filters let me narrow down my search results easily, can search within the results list, "cited by" lets me see how the article has been used. Find information from many types of materials, including images!  Ovid maps you to suggested MeSH terms, can create very sophisticated search strategies, create an account to save the searches. 
           
           

 

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