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Articles and more

Which databases are suitable for which type of search?
And how do they work?


The main database for searching for biomedical article references is PubMed internationally, also because it is freely accessible. Embase is also available since 2023.

Supplementary databases to PubMed/Embase:

  • Articles with the study type randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials are available in the trials sub-database of the Cochrane Library.

  • Supplementary literature on nursing can be found in CINAHL, on psychiatry/psychology in PsycINFO, and on education in ERIC.

Books and articles (simultaneously)

HEIDI offers the search for books in campus holdings/licenses of the University of Heidelberg as well as the search for German language articles and book chapters.

Google Scholar searches for all scientific document types that are available online worldwide.

In LIVIVO you can search extensively for international books and dissertations and, among other things, German language articles.

Citation analyses and Altmetrics

Web of Science Core Collection and Google Scholar evaluate the bibliography of each listed article and thus create a citation network between articles (Scopus also, but is not licensed).

For citation analyses at journal level, see Journal rankings.

Altmetrics were introduced as an alternative to the pure analysis of citations and measure e.g. how often documents are accessed and downloaded, discussed and linked on web pages/blogs of scientific institutions or news portals, discussed and liked in social networks, stored in web-based reference management systems, or discussed in recommendation services such as F1000Prime - see also Wikipedia. Altmetric tools are available from different providers and are used by some publishers on their sites.

Clinical decision support, guidelines, evidence-based medicine (EbM)

Clinical Decision Support

Ideally, physicians should have a reference book at their disposal that evaluates current and high-quality literature on clinical topics, offers a good search function, and informs them by e-mail about thematic updates. The library has been licensing DynaMed for this purpose for several years for the entire UMM, including app use (the most well-known product of this kind is UpToDate, but it is also very expensive).

In the freely accessible ACCESSSS database, you can search for collaboratively assessed and annotated studies and systematic reviews from about 120 top journals and create e-mail alerts by subject areas.
The "Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines" are a collection of about 1000 clinical guidelines that are regularly updated, supported by more than 4000 evidence summaries of articles from Level of evidence A to D. This database is only accessible free of charge via a search in ACCESSSS.

Trip is a database for searching for high-quality articles (quality filtering and sorting). We do not have a licence, but the Pro version can be personally licensed annually and has some advantages.

Faculty Opinions (formerly F1000 Prime) is an article recommendation service with nearly 200.000 recommendations of top articles in biology and medicine, which can now be used free of charge after registration.


On the page Guidelines there are explanations of German (AWMF) and international databases.

Evidence-based medicine (EbM)

Cochrane Germany offers some introductory information on evidence-based medicine at (in German).

The book Where is the proof? is also freely available as full text in HTML and PDF at (in German).

Differential diagnoses, drugs, NCBI, ICD

Differential diagnosis generator

Differential diagnosis generators are not licensed at the UMM, but some of them can be purchased by individuals, here is a small selection: VisualDx focuses on image material and can be licensed for $ 40,- per month or $ 400,- per year. The DDx tool Isabel for $ 150,- per year. FindZebra is free of charge and searches various free sources for rare diseases after entering symptoms.


here is a small list of recommended free drug databases:


The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides access to freely available DNA, RNA and protein databases via, see also the Handbook on this subject.

On the BfArM-page Classifications, terminologies and standards, the ICD-10-GM with link to the online version is explained.

Study register, research data repositories

On the Study register page we offer an overview of various national and international registers that record studies prior to possible publication.

On the page Research data management we have compiled information on research data, research data repositories and research data management.

Author Identifier, author search, institution search

Author Identifier such as ORCID ID and ResearcherID are used to clearly assign publications to authors.

The Web of Science Core Collection allows searching for publications by authors without identifiers and by institutions.

Pictures and videos

The licensed Prometheus LearningAtlas of Anatomy (in German) contains a graphic viewer with the functions full screen, zoom in/out, show/disable lines/labels. The app  Human Anatomy Atlas (by Visible Body) is installed on our borrowable tablets (iPads, only for MaReCum students).

On the Images under Creative Commons Licenses page, we introduce databases for searching images that are covered by Creative Commons copyright licenses.

On the page Videos & Animations different licensed (JoVE, webop, Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy) and freely available offers are presented.

Dictionaries / reference books

The library has licensed the clinical dictionary Pschyrembel Online (in German) as a combined offer together with the Herold: Internal Medicine.

Other well-known freely accessible reference works are the German DocCheck Flexikon and the English Medical Encyclopedia.

The licensed point-of-care database DynaMed is more comprehensive and of higher quality, but also suitable for reference.

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