Databases provide the most effective means of identifying literature on biomedical topics. The following include information relevant to women’s health.
Some of these resources are available to everyone while others are provided by the College for Fellows, Members, Trainees, Associates and Affiliates.
The Cochrane Library is the primary resource for evidence on the effectiveness of interventions in health care. It contains the full text of Cochrane Systematic Reviews, information about other systematic reviews and references to good quality controlled trials.
The Cochrane Library includes:
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
- Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)
- Cochrane Clinical answers
- Systematic reviews, from the Epistemonikos health evidence database
The Cochrane Library is published by Wiley and can be accessed free of charge in the UK and certain other countries. Fellows, Members and Trainees worldwide can also access the Cochrane Library from the RCOG eJournals, eBooks and databases page.
For guides to searching the database, please read How to use the Cochrane Library.
Evidence Search: Health and Social Care
Evidence Search: Health and Social Care, provided by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), draws together high quality, evidence-based resources, including aspects of women’s health. Most resources on the site are freely accessible although some may require an NHS England username and password.
Search the whole database, or browse by topic. Topics covered include antenatal care, cervical cancer, dysmenorrhoea and urinary incontinence.
King’s Fund Library database
The King’s Fund Library Database is the online catalogue for the Information and Knowledge service of The King’s Fund and is freely available for use.
The database includes publications on policy and management of health and social care services. It does not cover clinical issues and treatments. All The King’s Fund publications from 1906 onwards are included, with other publications from 1979 to present.
Maternity & Infant Care
Maternity & Infant Care (available to Fellows, Members and Trainees only) is a database which specialises in literature about pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal and neonatal care. It covers around 550 journal titles plus books and grey literature in the field, with records dating back to the 1970s.
Medline is the foremost resource for information about biomedical journal articles. It covers around 5600 journal titles in the pre-clinical sciences, the medical specialties, nursing, midwifery, psychology and some veterinary science. Brief details are given for articles published from 1946, with links to free full text where available.
Fellows, Members and Trainees worldwide can also access Medline from the eJournals page. This subscription version of Medline includes information about journals available in the RCOG library, with links to additional O&G full text.
Medline is also available to everyone as PubMed. A tutorial for using this database and a YouTube video about building better searches using MeSH (Medical Subject Headings, or keywords) are available.
POPLINE® is a freely available database on reproductive health. It contains over 370,000 records with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues. The majority of items are published from 1970 to the present, however, there are selected citations dating back to 1827.
In addition to free text searching, the database can be searched by keywords from the POPLINE keyword guide, a controlled vocabulary of 2,000+ terms used to index documents in the database. POPLINE’s special features include links to free full-text documents; the ability to limit your search to peer-reviewed journal articles; many abstracts in French and Spanish, and a free document delivery service to low- and middle-income country users.
Reproductive Health Library
The WHO Reproductive Health Library (RHL) is a curated collection of high quality evidence in reproductive health, published by the World Health Organization. RHL contains summaries of primarily Cochrane systematic reviews on reproductive health interventions. The summaries include suggestions for clinicians (and where relevant for policy makers), especially in developing countries, on how to implement the evidence in healthcare practice.
RHL is also available as an iPad app.
Transfusion Evidence Library
The Transfusion Evidence Library is an up-to-date, freely available online library of transfusion-related systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials which is fully searchable by index terms as well as by free text, title, author, date and study type.
The TRIP (Turning Research into Practice) Database provides a searchable index of evidence-based health resources. TRIP search tips are available here.
For advice on searching these databases please contact the Library team at firstname.lastname@example.org or refer to the effective literature searching page.