Searching databases - an introduction

2 modules



Course Length
20 mins

Jayne Packham



£30 + VAT. Learn the key skills and terms to allow you to search literature databases.  This two module course lasts about 20 minutes and will help you to choose the best literature database and write a good search strategy.


What does the course cover?

  • How to write a good search strategy
  • Picking the right database e.g. Medline/PubMed, Embase, Biosis etc
  • Difference between PubMed and Embase
  • Combining search terms using and, or, not
  • Concept of keyword searching using MeSH terms
  • Importance of tree structures, subheadings, major terms and exploding terms

You'll get a course certificate once you have completed the whole course.



This course costs £30 + VAT.


Who is it suitable for?

The course has been taken by both new staff and experienced staff, looking for a refresher.  Most people are in Medical Information or in Medical Affairs.


How do I take the course?

This is an online, eLearning course.  You'll need internet connection and a computer/device with speakers, so you can listen to the audio. You take the course at your own pace - all in one go, or in sections.  We track your progress so if you need to leave, you can start again where you left off.


Team, regional or global bookings?

If you have a team (however large) who would like to take this course, discounts are available for group rates.  

Bonus:  This course is free if purchased with the 'Searching PubMed' course.  Add this and the PubMed course to your basket.


At the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • Write a good search strategy
  • Compare the merits of PubMed/Medline and Embase and know the key features of the other key biomedical databases
  • Explain how to use and, or and not and understand how MeSH terms, tree structures, exploding terms and subheadings can improve your searches


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Course completion

Introduction to searching module 1
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Introduction to searching module 2
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Added about 1 month ago, by Roy
Added 4 months ago, by Margarida
Added 5 months ago, by Fiona
Added 5 months ago, by QIAN
Added 5 months ago, by Nitasha
Added 5 months ago, by Matthew
Added 6 months ago, by Suchismita
Added 6 months ago, by Hetal
I learnt a lot about how to better refine my search terms and also how to search more efficiently. Fantastic course!
Added 6 months ago, by Cathryn
Added 6 months ago, by Lyubov

Terms and conditions

  1. Each course purchase allows one person to access and take the course.
  2. The course must be completed within 6 months of enrollment.
  3. The course can only be taken once.
  4. The course is copyrighted to Jayne Packham Consultancy Limited and must not be shared, copied or distributed to other people.

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