Paul Cannon

0141 330 6532

Mon-Wed: Room 815, University Library, Gilmorehill

Thurs-Fri: Mary Stewart Building, Garscube

For Doctoral students and staff

Book an appointment - Gilmorehill or online

Book an appointment - Garscube or online

For undergraduate and taught postgraduates (Masters level)

In the first instance book an appointment with the College Library Support Team.

Articles & Databases

Find journal articles, newspaper articles, book reviews etc.

Note: the search above won't find every article, for a more comprehensive search see the information below on databases.

To find relevant and good quality information for your work, searching databases is the most effective method as they lead straight to quality-assessed journal or newspaper articles on your topic. As a member of staff or student at the University of Glasgow you have free access to a wide range of searchable databases although you may need your GUID and associated password to use some of them.


Help links for the top databases:

Internet Sites

Relevant to all


Medicine and Nursing


Non UK

Dissertation Help

If you would like some advice on searching for information, please contact:

0141 330 6532

Mon-Wed: Room 815, University Library, Gilmorehill

Thurs-Fri: Mary Stewart Building, Garscube

For Doctoral students and staff

Book an appointment - Gilmorehill or online

Book an appointment - Garscube or online

For undergraduate and taught postgraduates (Masters level)

In the first instance book an appointment with the College Library Support Team.

You might find some resources useful for your dissertation which we don't have available from this Library. Through our Inter Library Loan service you can order books and journal articles free of charge. See Need Something We Don't Have.

Help with referencing

A general introduction to referencing is available.

Referencing and citing – using your sources

What is referencing?

Referencing is the acknowledgement of items you have read and used while creating a written piece of work for your essay, dissertation, article or thesis.

It is important to keep an exact and complete record of the details of all the sources of information that you use for coursework, essays, dissertations or publications. Sources can include books, journal articles, web pages and legal cases. If you don’t keep a precise record you will have difficulty (and a lot more work) when you need to list the sources in your reference list.


When writing an essay, report or dissertation, it is usual to cite [mention] the sources that you used, referred to, or took quotes from. These references might describe journal or newspaper articles, books, government reports, web pages

Citing accurate references is important for the following reasons:

  • To give credit to concepts and ideas from other authors
  • To provide evidence of the extent of your reading
  • To use other work to support the arguments you make
  • To allow the user to locate the cited references easily
  • To help you avoid plagiarism

There are many styles for references, however, the most commonly used styles are Harvard (a version using author/date format) and Vancouver (numbered format). It is very important that you ask your supervisor or course leader which style they prefer you to use and, in some cases, which particular variant of that style. As an example you might be asked to follow the Vancouver style as outlined within the British Dental Journal in its guidance notes for authors.

If you are not given a specific variant and are merely told to use either Harvard or Vancouver style there are links to guides on these available from the Library's Referencing web page. There is also a British Standard (BS 5605:1990) which is very helpful, available in full text as a pdf from the British Standards database.

Software for managing your references

There are a number of reference management software programs which help you to record and store references to books or journal articles and many other sources while you are working on a project. You can then use the stored information to generate bibliographies for your essay, thesis or article using a wide range of styles. The University supports EndNote. There are also a number of freely available pieces of reference management software.

Evidence Based Practice


Provides an index to and summaries of UK national and European Union (EU) clinical guidelines for primary and shared care and summaries of working party guidelines. Much of the content is available free but registration is required for some full text. A list of who is entitled to free, full text access is available from the website

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidance
National guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) Guidelines
Guidelines produced by SIGN, part of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Practice Guides
Indexes practical guides on major issues in social care and social work, at-a-glance summaries, eLearning resources, online Social Care TV channel, a database of good practice examples, briefings on developing research, self-assessment tools and has a database of information – Social Care Online

Systematic Reviews, Guidelines and Evaluated Studies

The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is considered to be the best single source of Systematic reviews and evaluated trials, providing the 'gold standard' in "what works and what doesn't".
The Cochrane Library includes several databases* which can be searched simultaneously.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Cochrane Reviews provides the full text of Cochrane Systematic Reviews which identify an intervention for a specific disease or other problem in health care, and determine whether or not the intervention works.

Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)
CENTRAL includes details of published clinical trials taken from bibliographic databases (for example MEDLINE and EMBASE), and other published and unpublished sources. CENTRAL records include bibliographic details and, in many cases, a summary of the article.

Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR)
The CMR is a bibliography of publications that report on methods used in the conduct of controlled trials. It includes journal articles, books, and conference proceedings, and the content is sourced from MEDLINE and hand searches.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)
DARE contains abstracts of systematic reviews that have been quality-assessed.and can be used for answering questions about the effects of specific interventions, whether such questions arise from practice or when making policy. abstract includes a summary of the review together with a critical commentary about the overall quality. DARE complements the CDSR by quality-assessing and summarizing reviews that have not yet been carried out by The Cochrane Collaboration.

Health Technology Assessment Database (HTA)
The HTA Brings together details of completed and ongoing health technology assessments (studies of the medical, social, ethical, and economic implications of healthcare interventions) from around the world.

NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED)
The NHS EED systematically identifies economic evaluations from around the world, appraises their quality, and highlights their relative strengths and weaknesses.

TRIP (Turning Research Into Practice)

The TRIP database aims to provide access to highest-quality material available on the web, including journal articles, ebooks and other formats. The site has been externally evaluated by a team from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine ( in Oxford, UK

Evidence Direct (The Royal Melbourne Hospital)

Provides links to EBM sites and resources including Cochrane and Clinical Evidence alerts and the NLH Evidence and Effectiveness newsfeed. The personalised search service is only available to RMH Library members.

Ovid Databases

Ovid Medline can be used to identify methodologically-sound studies such as guidelines, meta-analysis, randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Run a search for your topic, select Limits then Additional Limits and select from the Clinical Queries drop-down menu. Sensitive will find the majority of relevant references, some less relevant than others. Specific will identify the most relevant articles, but may miss a few; Optimized is a trade-off between sensitivity and specificity. Alternatively, again using Additional Limits, select specific types of study (for example, Guidelines, RCTs, Meta-analysis, Controlled Clinical Trials) from the Publication Types drop-down menu.

Clinical Trials

If you are interested in ongoing clinical trials, The National Research Register Archive 2000-2007; and the NHS National Institute for Health Research and the Clinical Trials database compiled by the U.S. National Institute for Health are good places to start. There are also subject-specific resources such as Cancer Research UK's Clinical Trials Database.


CenterWatch, produced by Thomson, who produce the Web of Knowledge databases, is a clinical trials listing service designed for patients and research professionals, includes ongoing U.S. industry and government-sponsored clinical trials, as well as new drug therapies in research and those recently approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Association (FDA).

Current Controlled Trials

Current Controlled Trials is an index of ongoing RCTs produced by Current Controlled Trials Ltd, part of the Science Navigation Group of biomedical publishing companies, with an Advisory Group that includes representative from the NHS Executive, MRC, BMJ, Lancet, NEJM, WHO and others.


Trials, an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that covers the performance and findings of randomized controlled trials.

Grey Literature

Some databases for example, CINAHL and PsycINFO (both provided by EBSCO) index journal articles, books and conference proceedings. The Web of Knowledge database Web of Science indexes proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions, from 1990 onwards. Those databases can be accessed from the Library Databases.

SIGLE The System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe, compiled by The European Association for Grey Literature Exploitation indexes reports, theses, books, conference proceedings and others, from 1980 onwards and is updated monthly.

You might also find the Library's Medical Statistics pages produced by our Maps and Official Publications Unit useful.

Methodology including Critical appraisal skills

The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination provides excellent advice on the process of carrying out a systematic review, including Finding studies for systematic reviews.

The NHS Critical Appraisal Skills Programme(CASP), offers workshops on evidence-based health and social care.

What is Critical appraisal? By Amanda Burls, Directorof the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme, Director of Postgraduate Programmes in Evidence-Based Health Care, University of Oxford