Information Services


Overview of Medline.

Why use it?

  • Good coverage of wide range of clinical medical topics, both human and veterinary.
  • One of the longest periods of coverage: from 1966, with over 11 million records (see 'Bear in mind...' below, too.)
  • Very strong and widely recognised controlled thesaurus of MeSH (Medline Subject Headings) for good relevancy of results.
  • Transparent navigation of MeSH terms allows searcher to 'see inside' the organisation of the database.
  • Probably the best source for dentistry information (though the MeSH can be weak in this subject).
  • Ovid interface has excellent search refining tools, and several save options including auto-alert.

Bear in mind ...

  • Long indexing delay: 3 to 6 months for complete records (Pre-medline helps to overcome this)
  • Very large: over 11 million records, so requires sifting through results.
  • Of the biomedical, science and social science databases one of the weaker ones for psychiatry and psychology.
  • Journal coverage weighted toward North American titles.
  • Does not usually index publications other than journal articles.

Connect to Medline