Academic Research
March 22, 2004 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Academic research resources: I do research in the field of global health, at the intersection of medicine and social science. After months of using Medline, Proquest, and ASSIA and being frustrated, I just stumbled upon Scopus, and it's rocking my world. But now I wonder: is there anything better that I'm missing?
posted by stonerose to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you doing your research at a major research institution (e.g., a university), a corporation, a public library, other type of organization, or from home?

I ask because what you have access to--at least, at no additional cost to you--depends on where you are. If you're at a university or large corporation, you probably have access to quite a lot. But not everything that's out there--most of the databases cost a pretty penny, so even organizations with a large research budget won't have everything. Your librarians should know what they have and don't have, and be able to recommend useful resources out of what's available.

Having said that, have you been taking advantage of searching by MeSH terms to search Medline? Medline has some very powerful indexing applied by the indexers who produce it at the National Library of Medicine, but it's not the most obvious thing in the world, nor the easiest, especially if you're using NLM's own PubMed interface. Some of the for-pay interfaces to Medline, such as Ovid's, make it easier to search via MeSH terminology. There's a good chance you have Medline available through Ovid if you're at a large institution. Again, ask your friendly librarian (especially if there's a departmental medicine or science library you can go to) for help searching that way.

I do quite a bit of medical literature searching (although not so much on the global health/social science end of things) and my first instinct would be to go to Medline, based on what you've said so far. But that might be subject to change, depending on exactly what you're looking at, and how much medicine vs. how much social science is involved in your topic.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:25 PM on March 22, 2004

You might want to try the ISI Web of Science (available here if your institution subscribes, but with more info available here). They have good coverage of research from the life sciences as well as social sciences, and I would expect them to cover any of the overlap very well.
This is the source I use for anything I expect to be too obscure to make it into Medline. Hope it helps
posted by nprigoda at 2:28 PM on March 22, 2004

I've only ever used it for Literary Criticism research, but I know JStor has a pretty big database of academic literature of all varieties, sciences included. Good luck!
posted by saladin at 4:01 PM on March 22, 2004

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