“Which database should I use for my topic ? “ is an all too familiar question. Luckily, help is at hand – http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/resources/databases/index.html – is a useful list of databases by subject, and for big topics such as “Public Health”, it lists the most useful databases first. There also handy hints under the “About this database” section regarding subject coverage and search techniques.
Depending on your search topic you are likely to start your search using one of the public health “heavyweights” such as PubMed or Medline database. You may ask, and it is a good question, what is the difference between the two ? In short, PubMed contains Medline references, so is often a good starting point, and the interface is similar to another big public health database “Embase”, so you can easily switch databases using the same keyword searches. Other databases are more general such as Scopus and Web of Science, which focus on the wider Social Sciences, and others more specialist such as PsycInfo, and Africa-Wide Information.
“Why can’t I just search Google” ? , you may ask. Well you can, via Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.co.uk/), which can complement database searching, and useful for comparing search results.
Here are some useful links :