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Systematic Reviews: Where to search

Overview of systematic review methodology and key strategies for searching and reporting to the Cochrane Collaboration's Gold Standard

Heading: Where to search


Primary databases are indexes of research literature that contain records for a wide range of original research. There are key databases that are regarded as having relatively comprehensive coverage in specific disciplinary areas.
For Cochrane Reviews, the Cochrane Handbook mandates search of the Cochrane Review Group's Specialised Register, MEDLINE, and Embase (where available).
Some databases and organisations focus on higher level evidence such as clinical trials and systematic reviews. These collections are smaller in size than the primary databases and many are available freely on the internet.
For Cochrane Reviews it is required to search the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL).
Multidisciplinary databases can also be useful to search, as these typically index material from diverse subject areas. Searching one or more of these is typically done to increase the sensitivity of the search.

Grey literature

Navigate to Grey Literature and Other Sources Guide

You should also search the Grey literature.

Guidelines and standards

Other standards

Comparing PubMed and MEDLINE via Ovid

MEDLINE (Ovid) ALL accessed via UniSA Library includes all content in PubMed and is updated daily. For more detailed comparison of Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed see:

Browse UniSA’s subscribed journals and easily access PDFs


BrowZine™ allows you to easily access and browse journals available online via UniSA. Access via Library Website > Journals.

LibKey Nomad

LibKey Nomad™ is a Google Chrome Extension that makes it easy to access journal articles anywhere on the internet. 



For instructions on how to install LibKey extension, watch this short video (1m20s).

My Bookshelf is the place where you can organise your favorite journals and stay up to date in your field!  You may rename and organise your "shelves" and "bookcases" however you'd like! This configuration will automatically sync to your other devices when you use the same login.

See the video below to learn how to add a journal to My bookshelf (11 mins)


  • What is the BrowZine Account?

The BrowZine Account is the system used to provide personalization features throughout the BrowZine ecosystem.  Having a BrowZine Account is required for using My Bookshelf on all devices as it is used to tie together your different devices so you only need to configure My Bookshelf on one device and the configuration will sync seamlessly between them.

  • What email can I use to create my BrowZine Account?  Does it matter?

In most cases, you can use any email you would like!  For libraries using the BrowZine Pairing Service, you may be restricted to using only your university/company email address.  BrowZine will alert you to this fact if you try to use another email at one of these accounts automatically.

  • Do I have to have an account?  Can I use BrowZine at all without one?

No, you do not have to have an account to use BrowZine.  You can still browse the shelves, look up titles, read tables of contents, and download articles.  However, in order to use the personalization feature of My Bookshelf and My Articles, a BrowZine account is required so that we can synchronize and back-up your data across all devices and ensure that we keep your device accurately updated.

  • What if you can't find a journal in BrowZine?
    • ​You can try searching the name of the journal on the library website, e.g. Journal of advanced nursing.
    • For table of contents of the journal, search the web by journal title. Most publishers offer email alerts for the table of contents of the latest issue's.
    • you can get items from other libraries (Eligibility applied).
    • Remember there maybe free Open Access versions of journal articles - use the Unpaywall Chrome/Firefox extension to find them (about Unpaywall)

Quick guides