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.

National Guideline Clearinghouse

The National Guideline ClearinghouseTM (NGCTM) is a comprehensive database of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents. NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


A diagnostic decision support system designed by clinicians to aid medical professionals in the diagnosis of visually identifiable diseases, includes a section for oral mucosal lesions. Provides instant access to specialist knowledge at the point of care, merging medical images with concise clinical text. Includes more than 18,000 images representing over 1,000 visually identifiable diseases, drug reactions, and infections. As the clinician enters specific patient findings, VisualDx creates a visual differential diagnosis. The clinician enters symptoms and other clinical findings, such as lesion type, body location, medical history, medications, etc. With each entry, the system builds and refines the differential, never eliminating a diagnostic possibility but ranking each one by relevance to the patient findings. VisualDx displays images and key clinical information on all relevant diagnoses for a quick side-by-side comparison to the patient. Intended not to substitute, but to complement traditional medical information sources.

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 Standard

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.

Organizing & Managing Your Citations

Using a product like RefWorks (free and online) can help you to organize your citations and seamlessly create a bibliography at the end of a research paper or manuscript. Plus, alumni retain access to their RefWorks accounts!

RefWorks: Personal Citation Manager

RefWorks is a web-based citation manager that allows you to create your own databases of citations by importing references from PubMed or other databases, and then in seconds automatically generate bibliographies in all major styles (MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago, etc.).

Using RefWorks for the first time? Try our Step-by-Step guide for all the basics from setting up your account to using it with Word to add in-text citations and create a bibliography. 

RefWorks Basics - A short tutorial that will introduce RefWorks. 

Using RefWorks with PubMed or Ovid Medline, this guide describes how to move citations from either PubMed or Ovid Medline to your RefWorks account. 

Importing Citations from PubMed - A short tutorial

Importing Citations from Ovid Medline - A short tutorial

Write-N-Cite - A short tutorial about using Write-N-Cite to format your paper and 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.

Related Author: 
Nicole Theis-Mahon

Subject Specialist

Nicole Theis-Mahon

301 Diehl Hall
(612) 625-5410