When you are new to a topic, we recommend starting with Background information. In the UCSF environment this translates to books and review articles. This material provides context, is often more general, is more likely to be out of date, and provides the information you need to understand foreground information
Foreground information is more specific, more in depth, and tends to be the most current information. When you have the background information you need about your topic, it is time to consult foreground sources. In our environment this primarily means article databases.
Throughout your career you will have both background and foreground questions. More background questions at first; less as you progress in training and experience.
Refers to the single search box on the Library home page. Here you can search for everything to which UCSF Library has access. Regardless of whether it is a book, chapter, journal or article, whether it comes from PubMed or Web of Science!
The search box understands AND, OR, quotation marks, parentheses, truncation (*). You can save what you find in a reference manager. This cna be a great place to start learning about a topic.
|Name||What is it good for||Size|
|PubMed (contains MEDLINE)||Biomedical sciences (US Nat'l Lib Med)||27 M|
|Embase||Biomedical sciences (Elsevier)||34 M|
|Web of Science||Life sciences, Social sciences (Clarivate)||35 M|
|PsycINFO||Psychology (ProQuest)||4.4 M|
|Sociological Abstracts||Sociology (ProQuest)||?? M|
|CINAHL||Nursing and allied health (EBSCO)||5.2 M|
|ERIC||Education (ProQuest)||1.2 M|
Each of the databases in the table above can be found by searching in the search box on the library home page; results will be found to the right of the page in the Database area.
There are a wealth of databases to be found in the Databases link in Popular Links on the Library Homepage.
|Name||What is it?||Tips/Tricks|
|The current mother of all search engines...||Limit by .edu or .gov domains in Advanced Search|
|GoogleScholar||Google results filtered for academic content. Mostly published articles but also papers and presentations, white papers, etc.||
Settings. Used Advanced Search. Simplify PubMed searches. Find at scholar.google.com
|Tripdatabase||An Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) search engine. The free version is very useful. You can get some bells and whistles for $40/year.||Try the PICO search. Find at tripdatabase.com|
|SUMsearch||A somewhat idiosyncratic search engine for EBM.||There is no substitute for trying this one...find at sumsearch.org|