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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Online Journals and Bibliographic Databases

Online Journals

Journals, also known as periodicals, are collections of recent research articles. Reading the journal literature is a major component of evidence-informed public health. This is because:

  • Journals are published regularly, several times a year, so the information and research findings are current,
  • Scholarly journals are “peer-reviewed.” This means that every article is read by experts in the field and meets a standard of quality,
  • Much of the research published in journals is never published in other formats, for example books, or freely on the Internet.

Access to full text journals is available to MLHU staff and client health unit staff only. Articles can be retrieved through the Virtual Library. If an article cannot be accessed electronically, contact the library to obtain a copy.


Library Hours

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Library Contact

Toll free: 1-877-663-5320
Local: 519-663-5317 ext. 5320


Search the online databases to find what articles are published on your topic.

Online Bibliographic Databases

Online bibliographic database are searchable lists of journal articles.  Major bibliographic databases list millions of articles from thousands of journals and are updated constantly.  Some databases even list theses, book chapters, books, and conference proceedings. 

Databases are searched to discover what has been published in journals on a topic.  To be comprehensive, search multiple databases which cover the field of interest because different databases list different journals.  

To search a database, enter keywords that best describe your topic into the search box and run the search.  A list of articles will be retrieved, many of which will be relevant to your topic.  Most bibliographic databases do not include the full text of articles or contain limited full text.  Go to the journal itself to get the full text.  

Databases can be searched quite simply but practice makes perfect when it comes to efficiently searching to answer complex questions.  Reading more about how to conduct a literature search and consulting online “Help” within specific databases will help develop your searching skills.  You may also contact the library for additional support in conducting your own searches or have skilled librarians conduct literature searches on your behalf.

List of Online Bibliographic Databases

The Virtual Library is a collection of 18 databases and full text journals provided by Public Health Ontario.  Examples in this collection include:

  • Academic Search Premier, a multi-disciplinary database providing full text articles to over 3,500 scholarly publications,
  • Medline, the premiere biomedical database including the subject areas of dentistry, health policy and management, medicine, nursing, public health, and veterinary medicine,
  • Health Business Elite, covering health care administration and management with full text articles from over 500 journals including Harvard Business Review,
  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text, a core database for nursing and the allied health professions with some full text content
  • Environment Complete, a source of environmental health information from both journals and books,
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, an important source of full text systematic reviews focussing on the effects of health care interventions,
  • SportDiscus with  Full Text, the only database in the Virtual Library available to MLHU staff only,  is the most comprehensive source for all sports and sports medicine literature.
Please note: The Virtual Library is password protected. If you do not know the user ID and password, please contact the library.
Date of creation: February 25, 2013
Last modified on: June 9, 2014