Starting a Research Project

Need help with starting a research project? Check out these resources to save time and frustration!

  • Library Research Checklist

    - Checklist to help guide you through the library research process. Also covers the difference between scholarly and popular magazine as well as identifying primary, secondary and tertiary sources.

Journal Article Databases


PubMed is another way to search Medline. Both PubMed and Ovid Medline are searching the same content, they just search it differently. If you are new to searching for journal articles on a topic, it may be good to start with Ovid, but also learn PubMed too. As a practicing health professional, you may only have access to searching PubMed in the future.

Searching PubMed - Need more information on searching PubMed? Click on the link for a guide with helpful tips.

Searching PubMed for Dental Topics - A short video tutorial on how to search PubMed with a dental topic example


OVID, like PubMed, is an interface used to search the Medline database. It includes journal citations from the fields of medicine, public health, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the basic biomedical sciences. MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database/article index that contains over 20 million references to journal articles. Coverage is from 1949 to the present. Over 5200 journals worldwide in over 37 languages are indexed.

Searching OVID Medline - Need more information on searching Ovid Medline? Click on the link for a guide with helpful tips.

Using Subject Headings in Ovid Medline - A short video tutorial on how to search the MeSH database in Ovid Medline

Using Limits and Refining Ovid Medline Searches - A short video tutorial on how to use limits in Ovid Medline.


CINAHL, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, has a multidisciplinary scope covering nursing and 17 allied health disciplines. CINAHL is a good resource for searching for articles describing qualitative research and research about health disparities.


Covers all areas of psychology. Provides bibliographic citations and abstracts to articles from more than 1300 international journals in psychology and related fields. In addition, PsycINFO covers books, book chapters, and dissertations.  PsycINFO overlaps with MEDLINE, but provides much deeper coverage of psychology literature and is a good choice for search questions with psychology aspects. 


Embase is often called the European Medline and includes Medline citations as well as additional citations non-covered in Medline.  It is particularly strong in drug literature and articles from developing countries.  When searching Embase, we recommend searching one concept at a time and then combining them.


Scopus indexes 21,000 journals across all disciplines and includes all citations from the biomedical database Embase.  Embase provides excellent coverage of drug and international biomedical literature and provides a good complement to PubMed/Medline.

Web of Science

Web of Science is a large, interdisciplinary database of journal articles from the health and social sciences. Searching Web of Science  - Need more information on searching Web of Science? Click on the link for a guide with helpful tips.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar uses the Google interface and search algorithms to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.  Connect to Google Scholar through the Libraries' web site to gain off-campus access to all the articles and journals in full text in the Libraries. To connect to the full text, click "FindIt@U of M Twin Cities" in your Google Scholar search results. Then click the "Find It" link to get a menu of full text and Library services. Learn more: Google Scholar FAQ

Evidence-Based Practice & Point-of-Care Resources

Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library consists of a collection of regularly updated evidence-based health care databases. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews consists of completed systematic reviews and in-process protocols examining a wide aspect health care decision making. The Dentistry & Oral Health group contributes reviews.

ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry

The Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry operates under the advisement of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs to develop resources that help dentists integrate clinically relevant scientific evidence at the point of care.

DynaMed Plus

DynaMed Plus is an evidence-based clinical decision support tool with content from a team of physicians. It is designed for use at point-of-care. Over 3,200 topic summaries covering diseases, disorders, diagnostics, and drugs are derived from peer reviewed journals and systematic evidence review databases.

Drug and Supplement Information


Provides access to drug information resources, including DRUGDEX; POISINDEX; Martindale, the Extra Pharmacopoeia; Index Nominum; and Physician's Desk Reference. 

Natural Medicines

Natural Medicines, previously known as Natural Standard, is an international research collaboration that aggregates and synthesizes data on complementary and alternative therapies. Using a comprehensive methodology and reproducible grading scales, information is created that is evidence-based, consensus-based, and peer-reviewed, tapping into the collective expertise of a multidisciplinary Editorial Board. Includes these databases: Foods, Herbs, & Supplements; Health & Wellness; Genomics & Proteomics; Medical Conditions; Comparative Effectiveness; Brand Names; and Interactive Tools.

Patient Education/Consumer Health


Is a resource from the American Dental Association and includes information on dental health topics, nutrition, dental care concerns and a list of ADA member dentists. 


MedlinePlus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on diseases and conditions. It also includes a medical encyclopedia and dictionaries, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials.

Organizing & Managing Your Citations

Using a citation manager can help you to organize your citations and seamlessly create a bibliography at the end of a research paper or manuscript. You can learn about two of the citations mangers commonly used in the health sciences below.

Mendeley: Personal Citation Manager

Mendeley is a freely available citation manager that allows you to manage your PDFs and create a database of your own citations by importing references or PDFs. Mendeley also has a plug-in for MS Word call Cite-O-Matic which allows you to format papers and bibliographies.

Using Mendeley for the first time? See the videos below to learn about how Mendeley can help you organize your research. You can also view additional guides and tutorials from

Using Mendeley to Organize your PDFs

Manage Your Articles

Format a Paper or Bibliography

EndNote: Personal Citation Manager

EndNote is a computer based, desk-top citation manager that is available for purchase with academic pricing through the University Bookstore

Here are some additional resources about migrating references from RefWorks to EndNote Desktop and EndNote Basic.

NLM Citation Style

Citing Medicine, 2nd edition

Citing Medicine provides assistance to authors in compiling lists of references for their publications, to editors in revising such lists, to publishers in setting reference standards for their authors and editors, and to librarians and others in formatting bibliographic citations.

Related Author: 
Nicole Theis-Mahon

Subject Specialist

Nicole Theis-Mahon

Nicole Theis-Mahon

301 Diehl Hall
(612) 625-5410