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. 


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.

ACP Smart Medicine

Smart Medicine is a web-based authoritative, evidence-based guidance tool. Smart Medicine's modules include sections on diagnosis, prevention, screening, drug therapy, complementary and alternative medicine, ethical and legal issues, and procedures.


Evidence-based reference tool containing peer-reviewed summaries for almost 2000 topics of diseases, disorders, and symptoms, including information on causation, associated conditions, history and research findings, differential diagnosis and diagnostic testing, treatment, prevention, prognosis and links to patient information.

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.

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 Mediline - A short tutorial

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

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