Medical Database

PubMed is a unique database tailored to meet the needs of people looking for information related to biomedical and life sciences. Gray and Watson (2015) explain that the database is under the United States National Library of Medicine that is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining it and consequently disbursing medical information. 

Unique Features of PubMed

PubMed is a unique database with distinguishing features. Firstly, PubMed allows users to have accounts. The feature allows the database to save an individual’s searches and enable them to retrieve searches later as well as receive automatic updates, depending on their search behaviors. Secondly, the database is capable of allowing one to conduct selective filtering of their search to allow for more precise searching depending on one’s needs and preferences (Robinson and Dickersin, 002). Thirdly, the database allows users to format information resulting from a search with the search elements highlighted. This eases the process of synthesizing and consolidating information from searches. 

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PubMed v. Cochrane Collaboration, Cinhal, and Medline 

Cochrane Collaboration and Medline are two databases that provide information similar to PubMed. Medline is similar to PubMed in that both are maintained by the same organization. The database can be searched via PubMed and the Entrez system that is run by the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s system. As such, they represent the same thing, with a high specialization for medical information (Falagas, Pitsouni, Malietzis, and Pappas 2008). Cochrane Collaboration is maintained and run by a non-profit, non-governmental organization that aims at easing the access of medical research findings. The system differs from PubMed in that it is run by a team of scientists who are based all across the globe. All these databases have peer-reviewed articles that are of high quality. They require users to have accounts and they majorly deal with articles and not books. CINHAL is well indexed and contains peer-reviewed articles. It allows one to save their searches as well as download material. It has automatic updates. 

Considerations Before Choosing a Database

To use a given database, one must be aware of the information that they are seeking. This helps in the filtering the wide range of information provided and settling on the most preferred information item such as an article. The level of authenticity is also important in deciding, which information sources are necessary. Information available in a peer-reviewed material is of high integrity as compared to information that is in magazines. The subject area of information is necessary to understand before a search.  


Gray, P., & Watson, H. J. (2015). Decision support in the data warehouse. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall PTR.

Falagas, M. E., Pitsouni, E. I., Malietzis, G. A., & Pappas, G. (2008). Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, web of science, and Google Scholar: strengths and weaknesses. The FASEB Journal, 22(2), 338-342.Robinson, K. A., & Dickersin, K. (2002). Development of a highly sensitive search strategy for the retrieval of reports of controlled trials using PubMed. International journal of epidemiology, 31(1), 150-153.

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