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Health Education: Databases

Resources for students, staff, and faculty in the Health Education & Behavior Department of the College of Health and Human Performance.

Health Science Center Libraries

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Why Use Bibliographic Databases

Literature searching is a methodical process of looking for published or unpublished evidence on a chosen topic using bibliographic databases. Within the health sciences, this evidence usually comes in the form of information sources like books, journal articles, guidelines, clinical trials data, or conference proceedings. Good literature searches help you find relevant, up to date, quality information to help you identify current research gaps, potential research methods, and current theories and findings.

Bibliographic databases are collections of references and abstracts on a specific subject or subjects. The references are usually drawn from resources like academic journals, books, and reports from professional associations that are reputable, clearly dated, and have already been reviewed for quality and accuracy.

Full-Text Access

Remember, for remote access to all UF electronic resources use the VPN software or the Proxy Server.

Some databases, journals and resources are free for anyone to access and some are only accessible to UF affiliates through the libraries' subscription. To access subscription resources while off campus, you must be logged in to the VPN or the proxy service.

Access to electronic resources should be seamless from any UF networked computer. Note that some computers in Shands may require remote access.

Eligibility for access: UF students/faculty/staff members with current, valid UF ID/Gator1 Card.

Image by Christina Smith from Pixabay 

Important Databases for Health Education & Behavior

Web of Science contains over 21,100 peer-reviewed, high-quality scholarly journals published worldwide (including Open Access journals) in over 250 sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities disciplines. Conference proceedings and book data are also available.


PubMed comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.

PsycINFO provides access to international literature in psychology and related disciplines. Topic coverage includes Applied psychology, Communication systems, Developmental psychology, Educational psychology, Experimental human and animal psychology, Personality, Psychological and physical disorders, Physiological psychology and neuroscience, Sports psychology 

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Embase provides unparalleled coverage of the medical literature, including information not available in MEDLINE. Regulatory bodies recommend Embase as a source for comprehensive systematic literature reviews.

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Scopus is a source-neutral abstract and citation database curated by independent subject matter experts who are recognized leaders in their fields. Scopus puts powerful discovery and analytics tools in the hands of researchers, librarians, research managers and funders to promote ideas, people and institutions.

Academic Search Premier is a leading multidisciplinary research database. Subjects Include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Religion and philosophy
  • Science and technology
  • Veterinary science

ERIC indexes education research found in journal articles, books, and grey literature.

Learning Literature Searching Skills

To learn how to search different databases either attend some of the HSCL's workshops (click here for the schedule and to reserve your spot) or contact the HEB Liaison Librarian Jane Morgan-Daniel to arrange a time for a one-to-one or group appointment.

Precision & Recall

Precision = the fraction of retrieved items that are relevant

  • (How much of what you retrieved is good?)
  • # relevant articles divided by # total articles

Recall = fraction of relevant items retrieved out of all relevant items available in the database

  • (How much of the good stuff did you actually get. Unfortunately, the higher the recall, the more 'junk' you end up getting also.)
  •  # relevant articles retrieved divided by # total relevant articles available

When searching, you're looking for a reasonable balance between precision (narrowing your search to get ONLY relevant articles) and recall (widening it to get ALL relevant articles, which usually means a lot more junk to weed through as well).

A common question is "How many articles should be retrieved by a good search?" There's no exact answer to that. Somewhere between 100-300 is a reasonable number of abstracts to weed through, but it depends greatly on your question, how comprehensive you want to be, and how much literature there truly is on your topic.

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