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Intro to Review Literature

Subject database or Multisearch?

Most librarians prefer to use multiple subject databases for lit reviews, because subject databases provide more searchable fields in a database record. Multisearch searches dozens of databases at the same time, but has to simplify search fields to a few that apply to all the databases.

However, Multisearch can sometimes be a good place to start, because it lists all the databases providing results for a given search. Going through the Database Provider list can help a researcher determine good subject databases for a topic.

Compare the list of searchable fields on the left (Multisearch) with the list of searchable fields on your right (PsycINFO). The field list from PsycINFO is shrunk to fit into a screen. A Database Provider list is displayed, too.

Another factor to consider is that for systematic review, you may need to track the exact number of articles that came from any one database, making Multisearch impractical.

List of Multisearch fieldsList of PsycINFO fields


Sample list of Databse Providers from Multisearch