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Research Guides@Tufts

Physician Assistants

A toolkit and library course guide for Tufts PAs

Important Databases

MEDLINE Databases


  • Contains
    • Links to the Cochrane Databases : including full-text systematic reviews of methodological studies. The reviews are both highly structured and systematic. Evidence from methodological research is included or excluded on the basis of explicit quality criteria, thus minimizing bias
    • MEDLINE : covers the international literature on biomedicine, including the allied health fields and the biological and physical sciences, humanities, and information science as they relate to medicine and health care
  • Search Basics
    • MeSH terms: Use these for concept searching
    • Keywords: Use when there is no MeSH term to describe your idea. Remember to truncate with the * to get variants; try alternate spellings; and try synonyms to capture as many ways as possible to decribe your topic.
    • Search concepts individually, then combine them.
    • Narrow your search by English; human; or type of article:
      • Review articles for overviews
      • EBM Reviews for evaluated studies
  • Useful Tools
    • Email
    • Export to Refworks
    • Ask-a-librarian: Stuck? Use this feature to send your search and your question to us.


  • Contains:In addition to MEDLINE citations, PubMed also contains:
    • In-process citations which provide a record for an article before it is indexed with MeSH and added to MEDLINE or converted to out-of-scope status.
    • Citations that precede the date that a journal was selected for MEDLINE indexing (when supplied electronically by the publisher).
    • Some OLDMEDLINE citations that have not yet been updated with current vocabulary and converted to MEDLINE status.
    • Citations to articles that are out-of-scope (e.g., covering plate tectonics or astrophysics) from certain MEDLINE journals, primarily general science and general chemistry journals, for which the life sciences articles are indexed with MeSH for MEDLINE.
    • Citations to some additional life science journals that submit full text to PubMedCentral® and receive a qualitative review by NLM.
    • Citations to author manuscripts of articles published by NIH-funded researchers.
    • Citations for a subset of books available on the NCBI Bookshelf (a citation for both the book and each chapter or section of the book).
  • Search Basics:
    • Use the MeSH browser to search by concept
    • Use the filters on the left for article types
    • Use the Advanced Search to combine separatly searched concepts
  • Useful Tools:
    • Tufts Filter
    • My NCBI: make a profile to save searches, or keep updated on a topic

Web of Knowledge

Boolean Logic & Keyword Searching: Only keyword searching is available. Remember to use alternate spellings and synonyms for your concepts.  Fill out the search form. After submitting the search, use the filters on the left to narrow down results.

Database Content: A cross disciplinary (humanities, social sciences, and sciences) database, from 1864 to present.

Useful Tools:

  • Times Cited: Look at other articles that used this article in their bibliography. A forward timeline on the topic.
  • Cited References; See this authors bibliography. A backward timeline of the topic
  • Related Records: Try to find other articels about this same topic.
  • Send the citations you like to RefWorks or Endnote
  • Make a profile to keep searches or keep updated on a topic of choice