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Health Sciences Undergraduate Library Guide: Finding journal articles

Finding articles using databases

Databases collect, organise and index information from journals, books, book chapters, theses and dissertations, magazines, newspapers and other sources.

Journal databases are online indexes to the academic journals and generally speaking, these give superior results when searching for information. They are more reliable in unlocking the contents of peer-reviewed journals and have more reliable links to full-text when compared with random searching of the internet where much of what is found is irrelevant in content or inaccessible to full-text. A database is searched by typing in appropriate keywords that represent your topic.  

You can access UCT libraries databases through the A-Z list of databases on the Health Sciences library homepage.


Finding journal articles in Primo

Primo is a search tool for finding books, eBooks, articles, journals, videos and more. Searching in Primo will find articles on your topic, you can filter the results of your search to a specific aspect of the topic you are researching. You can further narrow your results by resource type and choose articles and by publication date.

Recommended databases

Provides access to medical titles, thousands of images and illustrations, interactive self assessment, case files, diagnostic tools and more. Access is limited to 2 simultaneous users.

A resource for physiotherapy students and lecturers. It provides access to content from leading McGraw-Hill texts, interactive imaging content, exclusive multimedia, and flexible curricular tools. Access is limited to 2 simultaneous users.

Provides access to an extensive collection of medical and surgical content including online books and journals, First Consult (FC), medical videos and images.

PubMed is the free platform for Medline, the main index to medical and biomedical journals. It includes articles not yet indexed by Medline as well as additional resources from PubMed Central, an open repository and books from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). 

‚ÄčA database covering science, technology, medicine and the social sciences. Scopus provides the contents of Medline and Embase (European database of biomedical literature).

How to install and use EbscoHost database app

EBSCOHost databases

EBSCOhost is a platform for a number of full-text research databases providing access to information in various disciplines such as business, medicine, nursing, education and psychology. It is possible to search across a number of databases at one time. The following are the recommended databases for undergraduate students in the health sciences.

  • Academic Search Premier 

Provides journal coverage for most areas of study including medical sciences.

  • Africa-Wide Information 

Combines bibliographic databases from around the world to form a multidisciplinary aggregation offering unique and extensive coverage of all facets of African and African Studies.


Authoritative resource for nursing and allied health professionals, students, educators and researchers.


Database of the United States National Library of Medicine, containing 22 million references to biomedical and life sciences journal articles dating back to 1946.


Database of the American Psychological Association which is a distinctive source of full text, peer reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology.

  • PsycINFO

Database of American Psychological Association, a renowned source for abstracts and citations of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books and dissertations in the psychological, social, behavioural and health sciences.


How to find journal articles using EbscoHost