Answered By: Juliet Marconi
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2017     Views: 15

A bibliographic or research database is a collection of references to research or published literature, searchable online. Databases may include references to information or studies published in journals, books, newspapers, reports, websites, dissertations, etc.

Most databases are updated on a regular basis, with content indexed or catalogued by the organisation or publisher that provides access.

Some databases may be free online or "open access" eg PubMed; many are not. Subscriptions for commercially available databases are usually paid on an annual basis. In some cases, direct access may also be provided to some full text content, eg EbscoHost CINAHL or EbscoHost Medline complete, Cochrane Library, PubMed.

Searching a database may sometimes be referred to as conducting a 'literature search' or 'literature review'.

Databases will usually cover specific disciplines. Eg Medline / PubMed - general medicine; CINAHL - allied health and nursing; Psycinfo - psychiatric and mental health literature; AustHealth - Australian health and medical literature, etc.

Most databases offer basic or advanced searches (using AND/OR). You should also be able to refine your search or apply specific limits, eg age, year of publication, human or animal research, language (of article), type of publication or study (eg systematic review, peer-reviewed journals, etc) and so on.

How do you access research databases?

  • All Queensland Health staff have access to range of research databases via Clinical Knowledge Network CKN (login required)
    • Use the MORE DETAILS + link on CKN website listings to find out about database coverage
  • JCU staff and students have access to a range of databases via the JCU Library website (login required)

CHHHS and TCHHS staff can request LKC to undertake a literature search on their behalf for work purposes or book in any time for database (literature) searching training. JCU students can book a time for assistance or contact JCU Library for help.

Other QH staff should approach their local QH library for assistance.

For more information see following links.

Contact Cairns Hospital LKC

To contact Cairns Hospital, Library & Knowledge Centre (Cairns & Hinterland Hospital & Health Service):

  • +61 7 4226 6679
  • Email
  • 08:30-17:00

Closed weekends and public holidays.