Information Services


Subject guide: Medicine

Acland Anatomy Online

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: High quality videos of Human Anatomy which use fresh, unembalmed specimens to retain the colour, texture and mobility of the living human body. Search or browse by structure.  Links can be made to specific points of relevance in the videos. A concise synchronised narration runs throughout and transcripts are available for download. There are self-assessment exams covering all topics.

Africa Wide Information

Access information:

Access on and off campus


Africa-Wide Information comprises an aggregation of 50 databases sourced from Africa, Europe and North America. Africa-Wide provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary information which documents research and publications by Africans and about Africa. Africa-Wide covers close to 4 million news articles,  scholarly publications articles, books, reports, theses, citations, and grey literature. Records include article abstracts and some full text with keyword indexing to enhance relevant retrieval. The coverage is comprehensive from the 18th century to current and dates back to the 16th century. Africa-Wide Information is an essential resource for those with an interest in African research and publications and for those doing research in an African context, no matter the subject field. Further information on the full contents of this collection can be found here. 


Access information: Access on and off-campus.
Description: Data from 500 international health care journals held by the British Library supplemented by relevant records from Medline. Subjects covered include: acupuncture, homeopathy, palliative care, occupational therapy and holistic treatments.
Coverage: 1885 - present.
Additional information: NHS Staff and other authorised users: The Knowledge Network

Amirsys Imaging Reference Center

Access information: Access on and off campus.

Radiology references with high-quality images, classical diagnoses, and evidence-based clinical content. Contents include:

  • 72,000 x-ray, CT, MR, and ultrasound illustrations and images.
  •  evidence-based content – including over 4,000 diagnoses provided by imaging experts.
  •  over 40,000 journal references.
Access Information: Access on and off campus
Description: A multimedia 3D anatomy learning resource with interactive modules, animations and quizzes on organs, regions of the body, or anatomical systems.
Access information: Access on and off campus.

Indexing and abstracting tool covering health, social services, psychology, sociology, economics, politics, race relations and education. Updated monthly, ASSIA provides a comprehensive source of social science and health information for the practical and academic professional. It contains records from over 500 journals published in 16 different countries, including the UK and US.

Detailed information about ASSIA

Coverage: 1987-present.
NHS Staff and other authorised users:  The Knowledge Network

BioMed Central

Access information: Free access on and off-campus from
Description: An independent publishing house committed to providing open access to peer-reviewed biomedical research. The University of Edinburgh is a member.
Coverage: Portfolio of 291 journals.
Access information: Access on and off campus. Not working? Try clearing your cookies. Or, use Alternative login (with the VPN service if off campus) and choose BIOSIS Citation Index from "All Databases" drop down menu
Description: The electronic version of Biological Abstracts for information about contents of journals, meetings, patents, and books in the life sciences and biomedical research. Covers pre-clinical and experimental research, methods and instrumentation, animal studies.
Coverage: 1926 to present.
Additional Information: Detailed information about BIOSIS Citation Index
Access information: On campus and mobile access.
Description: BMJ Best Practice is a point of care tool from BMJ Evidence Centre designed to support clinical decision making from diagnosis to treatment. The latest research evidence, guidelines and expert opinion are combined in a single source and presented in a step-by-step approach, covering prevention, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis
Notes: You need to create an account and type the insitutional number - see link above.

BMJ Case Reports

Access information: Access on campus.
Description: BMJ Case Reports delivers a peer-reviewed collection of cases in all disciplines so that healthcare professionals, researchers and others can easily find clinically important information on common and rare conditions.
Notes: An access code is required to upload any new Case Reports - see link above.

BMJ Learning

Access information On campus and off campus.
Remote access End users should register for the first time within the IP range of the institution – after this they can access the information remotely with their newly created user name and password. If a user has previously used a BMJ Product they will need to log in with their existing user name and password, within the IP range, to refresh the account. If you cannot remember your password please click the forgotten password link on the website.
Description BMJ Learning offers online, accredited and peer reviewed learning sessions in text, video, and audio formats for students, doctors and other healthcare professionals. All modules are based on the latest available evidence and are sorted by profession and specialty and can be stored in a personal BMJ portfolio.
Access information: Access on and off campus. See note below regarding registration at first use.

BMJ Quality is an online toolkit that supports individuals and teams to work through quality improvement ideas, make an intervention, and publish their results while developing their knowledge and skills. The toolkit is linked to the journal, BMJ Quality Improvement Reports, a searchable repository of global quality improvement evidence and best practice.

Access the BMJ Quality Getting Started guide and other support materials.

Notes: The first time you use this resource, you need to register using an Access Code provided by BMJ (see link above). To register with the code, go to select the 'Redeem access code' button and, when prompted, enter the access code. If you have previously used a BMJ Product you can register with your existing BMJ user name and password.

CAB Abstracts

Access information: Access (on and off-campus).
Description: CAB Abstracts is the world's leading agricultural database. Find journals, books, conferences and reports. It covers significant research and development literature in the fields of animal and crop husbandry, animal and plant breeding, plant protection, genetics, forestry, veterinary medicine, aspects of human health, human nutrition, rural development, leisure and tourism and the management and conservation of natural resources.
Coverage: 1910-present.

Chinese Science Citation Index

Access information: Access on-campus. Available off campus via VPN.
Description: Information on more than 3 million articles with 17 million citations, covering the contents of over 1,000 core Chinese journals. Subject areas include mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, biology, agriculture, engineering, medicine, health, and environmental science.
Note: The database platform is in Chinese. However, it is also searchable in English because many articles have an English abstract.
Coverage: 1989 onwards.

CINAHL Plus- Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature

Access information: Access on and off campus.

Covers 4,175 nursing, allied health, biomedicine, behavioural science, education and consumer health journal sand a wide range of other material including books, dissertations, educational software and audiovisual material. Abstracts and alerts are available.

Detailed information about CINAHL

Coverage: From 1937.
Help: Online tutorial
Additional Information: NHS Staff and other authorised users:The Knowledge Network

Cochrane Clinical Answers

Access information: Access on and off campus.

Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) provide a readable, digestible, clinically focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane systematic reviews. They are designed to be actionable and to inform decision making at the point of care. Each Cochrane Clinical Answer contains a clinical question, a short answer, and an opportunity to ‘drill down’ to the evidence from relevant Cochrane reviews.

Cochrane Library

Access information: Access on and off campus.

Used to inform the practice of evidence based medicine. Cochrane includes the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, the Cochrane Review Methodology Database and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. Updated quarterly. Note: Access from The National Electronic Library for Health ended 2 January 2005.

Detailed information about the Cochrane Library


CSH ( Cold Spring Harbour) Protocols

Access information: Access (on and off campus)

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols is an interdisciplinary journal providing a definitive source of research methods in cell, developmental and molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, protein science, computational biology, immunology, neuroscience and imaging.

Each monthly issue details multiple essential methods-a mix of cutting-edge and well-established techniques. Newly commissioned protocols and unsolicited submissions are supplemented with articles based on Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s renowned courses and manuals.

All protocols are up-to-date and presented in a consistent, easy-to-follow format.

Access information: Access on and off-campus.
Description: Contains over 180,000 titles (200,000 volumes) published during the 18th Century, covering a range of subjects including history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, and science. The full text of the collection is searchable, from books and directories, Bibles, sheet music and sermons to advertisements.
Coverage: 18th Century.

EMBASE is a key resource


Access information: Access on and off-campus.

The Excerpta Medica database, a major pharmacological and biomedical literature database covering about 3,300 journals from110 countries. Covers mainly journal literature (plus some book reviews and conference proceedings) with strong coverage of European journals.

Detailed information about EMBASE

Coverage: From 1980 to date.
NHS Staff and other authorised users: The Knowledge Network

Global Health (CABI)

Access information: Access on and off-campus.
Description: Covers human health and disease, including communicable diseases, tropical diseases, parasitic diseases and parasitology, nutrition, community and public health, and medicinal and poisonous plants., from more than 16,000 journals as well as books and grey literature (dissertations, conferences, patents, standards, annual reports, etc.) from more than 130 countries.
Coverage: 1910 to present.
Access information: Access free.
Description: Global Health Library is promoted and led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), , with the aim of connecting and promoting worldwide health information particularly in developing regions.

Henry Stewart Talks - Biomedical and Life Sciences

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection of over 550 seminar style talks by leading world experts. All of the seminars have been specially commissioned from leading scientists and are presented in a user-friendly format of animated slides with synchronized narration.

Medline is a key resource


Access information: Access on and off campus.

US National Library of Medicine database, covering worldwide medical literature including research, clinical practice, administration, policy issues and health care services. Corresponds to three printed indexes - Index Medicus, Index to Dental Literature and International Nursing Index. Covers 3,200 journals published in the USA and about 70 other countries.

Detailed information about Medline

MEDLINE, PubMed, and PMC (PubMed Central): How are they different?

Coverage: From 1966 to date.
Help: For user guides applicable to all Ovid databases click on the Help icon in the 'Choose a database' screen. For more detailed descriptions of all searchable fields in Medline, along with sample searches, click on the Information icon next to Medline in the Choose a database screen.
NHS staff and other authorised users: The Knowledge Network
Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Electronic community for the cognitive and brain sciences, which includes the full text of major reference works and over 250 MIT Press cognitive science books, full text of MIT Press journals in the field of cognitive and brain sciences, as well as a growing collection of other relevant books, journals and reference works from other participating publishers.
Access information: Free access on and off-campus from National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Description: A dynamic, online version of the catalogue of human genes and genetic disorders created by Dr. Victor A. McKusick hosted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Gene descriptions have links to article records in PubMed, sequence records, maps, and related databases.
Access information: Available from PathCAL (Choose Login via your home institution).
Description: Database of web-based tutorials designed to help students understand the basic pathological principles of disease by exploiting techniques in learning psychology.
  They can be used by beginners for learning the subject for the first time or by more advanced students for review and self-assessment.
  The tutorials were written and developed by experienced university teachers over the last ten years and have been subsequently edited and enhanced by both staff and students.
Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: The database indexes physical education literature, including peer-reviewed journals, report literature, conference proceedings, trade magazines, patents, articles from the popular press, and many other publications. The database is updated monthly.
Coverage: From 1970 onwards.

Primal Pictures - see entry for Anatomy TV


Access information: Freely available from International Society for Infectious Diseases
Description: The Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases is a current awareness tool with a database archive, recording infectious disease outbreaks and acute human exposure to toxins. It is produced by the International Society for Infectious Diseases, and contains reports from official sources, the media, observers and others, investigated by experts before inclusion.
Coverage: 1994 to present.
Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Millions of searchable citations to worldwide dissertation and theses. Around 70,000 new dissertations and theses added annually.
Coverage: Simple bibliographic citations are available for dissertations dating from 1637.  Each dissertation published since July, 1980 includes a 350-word abstract written by the author. Master's theses published since 1988 include 150-word abstracts.
Full-text: 1997 to date, with selected coverage from earlier years.  Full text for certain publications is subject to market availability.
Note: Index to Theses has been asbsorbed into this product since January 2015.

PsycINFO is a key resource


Access information: Access on and off-campus.

American Psychological Association produced with citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books and technical reports, as well as citations to dissertations, all in the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines.

Detailed information about PsycINFO

Coverage: Journal coverage, from 1806 to the present, includes international material selected from more than 2,400 journals written in over 25 languages. Current chapter and book coverage includes worldwide English-language material from 1987 to the present.
NHS Staff and other authorised users: The Knowledge Network
Access information: Free service of the National Library of Medicine (U.S.A.).

Includes over 14 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950's. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.

MEDLINE, PubMed, and PMC (PubMed Central): How are they different?

Additional information: Accessing full-text papers

Research to Publication 

Access information:

Access on and off campus. Users should register for the first time either from an on-campus computer or with the UoE Virtual Private Network (VPN) switched on – after this you can access the information remotely with your user name and password. If you have previously used a BMJ Product you may need to log in with your existing user name and password, on campus or with VPN, to refresh the account. If you cannot remember your password please click the forgotten password link on the website.


Research to Publication is an eLearning programme for early career academics in healthcare research brought to you by BMJ in collaboration with UCSF.

This programme offers a comprehensive set of stand-alone, self-study modules that lets learners choose what to study, and do so at their own pace. Focused entirely on medical research, Research to Publication draws on the expertise of The BMJ's research editors and UCSF's academics to guide learners through the entire process from designing a study, to seeing it published in an international journal.

The courses and modules in this programme are designed to stand alone however we strongly recommend that students taking the following three courses - Designing clinical research; Introduction to clinical trials; and Responsible conduct of research. The textbook Designing Clinical Research is recommended alongside Research to Publication, as this provides an extra level of detail students will find useful.

Download the Research to Publication User Guide.

Access information: Scopus will undergo maintenance 21st Sept. 4pm-6pm .  Access on and off campus.
Description: Abstract and citation database containing both peer-reviewed research literature and quality web sources. Covers over 20,000 journals from health, life, physical and social sciences and the humanities.
Coverage: For some subject areas, from the 1820s onwards.
Note: The University of Edinburgh's Affiliation ID is 60027272 (used for configuring Papers 3 for Mac to work with Scopus).
Note: If you receive broken link errors to Scopus content in DiscoverED while off campus, use the VPN for off campus access instead

SPORTDiscus with Full Text

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Covers serial and monographic literature in sport, recreation, exercise physiology, sports medicine, coaching, physical fitness, the psychology, history and sociology of sport, training, and conditioning. Full text is available for 550 titles.
Coverage: From 1949.
Additional information: NHS Staff and other authorised users: The Knowledge Network
Access information: Available on and off campus

Trip is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care. Trip has been online since 1997 and in that time has developed into the internet’s premier source of evidence-based content. As well as research evidence we also allow clinicians to search across other content types including images, videos, patient information leaflets, educational courses and news. The University's subscription is to the PRO version which gives many benefits on the standard version including more content and  more functionality:

  • Over 100,000 extra systematic reviews than the free version
  • Millions of extra free full-text articles
  • Easily search over 175,000 ongoing clinical trials
  • Access to a massive database of medical images
  • Access to tens of thousands of clinical videos
  • Export of records to reference management software
  • Advanced search
  • Ability to filter results by clinical area
  • Article views, see which articles are most popular for your search
Access information: Access on and off campus.  To register for the mobile app, click Login/Register link and register as a new user.  Once registered, you can install the UpToDate Mobile App on up to two devices.
Description: UpToDate Anywhere is an evidence-based knowledge system authored by physicians to help clinicians make the right decisions at the point of care. Content is continually updated and is based on the latest evidence; it undergoes a rigorous editorial process and is written by a global community of 5,100 physicians, world-renowned experts in their specialties. UpToDate also includes basic patient information for c.150 medical conditions.

Web of Science Core Collection is a key resource

Web of Science Core Collection

Access information: Access on and off campus.

Citations and abstracts to millions of journal articles and conference proceedings from all subjects. Impact factors, h-indexes and email alerts available.

Detailed information about Web of Science


Citation Indexes: Science and Social Sciences (both 1900 onwards), Arts & Humanities (1975 onwards), Conference Proceedings in Science and Social Science & Humanities (both 1990 onwards), Books in Science and Social Sciences & Humanities (both 2005 onwards). KCI-Korean Journal Database (1980 onwards), SciELO Citation Index (1997 onwards).

Chemical Indexes: Current Chemical Reactions (1986 onwards), Institut National de la Propriete Industrielle structure data (1840 onwards), Index Chemicus (1993 onwards).


Finding articles which have in their reference lists a work you found useful ('cited reference searching'): 

Cited Reference Searching (pdf)


Journal Citation Reports: 

Impact Factors (pdf)

Access information Available on and off campus.
Description 400 early printed works that trace the history and development of science and medicine from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries and cover subjects from anatomy and botany to witchcraft and the occult
Coverage 15th - 17th century.


Related Links

Subject guide: Medicine