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Urbadoc: Acompline


Coverage: Urban and regional planning and policy issues. The database contains references from major databases in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Urbadoc includes the following databases: Acompline and Urbaline (UK), Docet, Bibliodata, CBNA (Italy), Orlis (Germany), Urbamet (France) and Urbaterr (Spain).

Acompline: Contains bibliographic references to books, pamphlets, reports, and journal articles. It has an extensive coverage of 'grey' literature. Urbaline cites coverage from major British national newspapers, as well as news reports from weekly specialist journals and from press releases issued by central government, local government and other organisations. The two databases cover the following topics: urban and regional planning; social policy; housing; environmental issues; local government policy; finance and administration; education; transportation; leisure and recreation; economic development; and community relations.

Dates covered: Acompline: 1985 - current; Urbaline: 1994 - current.

Update frequency: Quarterly.

Versions examined: Also available online from https://extranet.london.gov.uk/

AgeLine


Coverage: Ageing and middle age, from an interdisciplinary perspective of psychology, economics, sociology, gerontology, public policy, business, health and health care services, and consumer issues. Documents on health care and policy comprise about half the database. Document types include journal articles, books, book chapters, reports, and government documents. Journal coverage includes research, professional and general interest titles.

Dates covered: 1978 - current.

Update Frequency: (Online) Bi-monthly, (Local) Monthly.

Versions examined: http://star.aarp.org/cgi-bin/starfinder/3185/ageweb.txt?action=-oyQ0

Indexing: There is no browsable thesaurus, but descriptors are assigned to each record. A keyword/phrase search will locate the desired term in the title, abstract or descriptors. The following descriptors are available:, literature reviews, meta analyses, cohorts, longitudinal studies, and case studies. 'Prospective studies' is not recommended as a descriptor, the descriptor longitudinal studies is used for a wide range of research designs. Trials are indexed with randomized controlled trials or controlled clinical trials. Publication type, e.g. Journal Article, is also a search option.

Summary: The use of a range of textwords and descriptors will ensure maximum efficient retrieval.

Searching: Ageline was searched at the website above on 17 August. 2004.

VIEW RESULTS

ASSIA


Coverage: Health, social services, economics, politics, race relations and education. Currently contains over 255,000 records from 650 journals in 16 different countries, including the UK and US.

Dates covered: 1987 - current.

Update Frequency: Monthly.

Versions examined:

Indexing: Thesaurus (Descriptors): The thesaurus includes the following terms: systematic reviews, cohort study, longitudinal studies. Systematic review appears to be used quite cautiously, and tends only to be applied when the phrase 'systematic review' is in the title or abstract. Literature review is applied much more broadly. Both systematic review and literature review are 'narrower terms' under the 'broader term' (BT) research methods. The term reviews is also used, but this is more frequently used in the sense of an overview or critical assessment of a situation. Meta-analysis (BT statistics) tends to be assigned when the phrase 'meta analysis' features in the title and is rarely used in conjunction with systematic review or literature review. There does not seem to be a publication type field. Indexing is brief with few terms assigned and some records receive no indexing in terms of study methodology.

Summary: The use of thesaurus terms plus a free-text search of title and abstract is recommended.

Volume of studies in the database: A search of ASSIA (http://uk2.csa.com 1987 - current) was undertaken on 17 August 2004.

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British Education Index


Coverage: The database contains records of UK literature which supports educational research, policy and practice It indexes 300 education and training journals published in the British Isles, similar report and conference literature, and texts in the Education-line collection.

Dates covered: 1976 - June 2004.

Update Frequency: Quarterly.

Version examined: The database is available in various versions (see http://167.68.26.121/webcd/AtSiteExt.dll?submit)

Indexing: The subject content of records is indexed using the British Education Thesaurus. The thesaurus structure uses broader (BT) and narrower terms. The terms literature review (BT publications) and meta analysis (BT statistical analysis) seem to be the only methodological indexing terms applied to reviews. Literature review is used in the identifiers (ID) field but is applied broadly and inconsistently. This ID field is not included in all records. In many instances no indexing of methods is provided.

Summary: A free-text and a thesaurus search will be required to locate literature reviews.

Searching: The BEI was searched via 'Dialog@Site' on 18 August 2004.

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CareData


Coverage: CareData abstracts the social work and social care literature. It contains over 50,000 summaries of books, central and local government reports, research papers, and publications of voluntary organisations, and articles from a wide range of journal titles. The focus is on UK and North American sources, but there is also some coverage of other English language material.

Dates covered: The oldest item on CareData dates from 1920, but between 1920 and the late 1960s there are few records. Between 1970 and 1979 there are up to 100 items per year on CareData. From 1980 the number of records increased. The bulk of the CareData collection builds from 1986 (http://195.195.162.66/dbtw-wpd/help/yearhelp.htm).

Update Frequency: Not clear from the web site.

Version examined: Electronic Library for Social Care web site -
http://www.elsc.org.uk/caredata/caredata.htm

Indexing: The indexing term literature reviews is not consistently applied to all reviews on the database and there is no appropriate term for 'systematic reviews'. The indexing term intended for child care reviews (reviews) is sometimes used incorrectly as a keyword for a literature review.

Volume of studies in the database: A search of CareData was undertaken on 17 August 2004 using the web site above.

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CINAHL


Coverage: CINAHL records publications relating to nursing and allied health. The database contains more than 880,000 records. The database covers a wide range of different types of publications and each record receives indexing terms from the CINAHL thesaurus.

Dates covered: 1982 to present.

Update Frequency: At least monthly.

Versions examined: http://gateway1.uk.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi OVID interface. 1982 - August Week 2 2004

Indexing:

Searching: CINAHL was searched using the Ovid Gateway interface on 19 August 2004.

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Health Management Information Consortium (HMIC):
DH-Data/King's Fund Database


Coverage: DH-Data contains records relating to health and social care management information. The database includes official publications, journal articles and grey literature on:

  • Health service policy, management and administration, with an emphasis on the British National Health Service;
  • The quality of health services including hospitals, nursing, primary care and public health;
  • The planning, design, construction and maintenance of health service buildings;
  • Occupational health;
  • Control and regulation of medicines;
  • Medical equipment and supplies;
  • Social care and personal social services.

The King's Fund: Contains records, mostly with a UK focus, on health management and services, social care, service development, and NHS organisation and administration. Records include books, pamphlets, government reports, abstracts of journal articles and a wide range of grey literature.

Dates covered: DH-Data: 1983 - current; King's Fund: 1979 - current.

Update Frequency: Unknown.

Versions examined: http://gateway.uk.ovid.com/gw1/ovidweb.cgi

Indexing: Thesaurus (Descriptors): The thesaurus contains the following relevant terms or descriptors: systematic reviews, literature reviews, meta analysis, longitudinal studies, and case studies. Neither 'cohort studies' nor 'prospective studies' have thesaurus terms. All of the aforementioned can be used as textwords to search the title and abstract of a record. Systematic reviews is a narrower term of literature reviews, evaluation methods and research methods. Literature reviews is a narrower term of publications. Meta analysis is a narrower term of analysis. Longitudinal studies is a narrower term of research methods and studies. Case studies and case control studies are both narrower terms of studies.

Summary: The use of thesaurus terms plus a free-text search of title and abstract is recommended.

Searching: The HMIC database was searched via Ovid on 18 August 2004. DH-Data was searched from 1983 to - date and the King's Fund database was searched from 1979 to - date.

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EMBASE


Coverage: EMBASE is a bibliographic database covering the worldwide literature on biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. It is produced by Elsevier Science. Its records contain bibliographic information, thesaurus terms and approximately 80% contain abstracts. More than 3,800 journals from about 70 countries are indexed and in October 2002 the database contained more than 9,161,800 records.

Dates covered: 1980 to present.

Update Frequency: Dependent on the version searched the database is updated weekly or monthly.

Versions examined: http://gateway.uk.ovid.com/gw1/ovidweb.cgi OVID interface. 1980 - 2004 week 33.

Indexing:

Searching: EMBASE was searched using the Ovid gateway interface on 19 August 2004.

VIEW RESULTS

EPPI-Centre Resources


Coverage: The EPPI-Centre produces three databases:

(a) BiblioMap contains health promotion research records. It contains approximately 10,000 records at present and is being added to each time a systematic review is completed.

(b) The Database of Promoting Health Effectiveness Reviews (DoPHER) is a specialised register concentrating on reviews. It currently contains 680 records.

(c) The Trials Register of Promoting Health Interventions (TRoPHI) holds all of the randomised controlled trials and controlled trials (non-randomised) identified as a result of conducting systematic reviews within the EPPI-Centre. It currently contains over 1,000 trials.

http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/EPPIWeb/home.aspx?Control=Search&SearchDB=rore&page=/hp/

Indexing: Records in the databases are indexed in several ways. A study design option which includes the following options:

  • Case control study
  • Cohort study
  • Economic evaluation
  • Meta analysis
  • Survey
  • Review
  • Secondary analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Outcome evaluation
  • Process evaluation
  • RCT
  • Trial

The Database of Promoting Health Effectiveness Reviews (DoPHER) was searched via the website above on 18 August 2004.

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ERIC


Coverage: Education. The database contains citations covering research documents, journal articles, technical reports, programme descriptions and evaluations, and curricular materials in the field of education.

Dates covered: 1966 - current.

Update Frequency: Monthly.

Versions examined: http://ca1.csa.com/htbin/ids65/procskel.cgi

Indexing: Thesaurus (Subject Headings): The thesaurus contains the following terms: literature reviews, meta analysis, cohort analysis, longitudinal studies, and case studies. Literature reviews is a narrower term of publications. Meta analysis is a narrower term of statistical analysis. Longitudinal studies is a narrower term of case studies. Case studies is a narrower term of evaluation methods and research. There are no thesaurus terms for 'systematic review' or 'prospective studies'. The term 'systematic review' can be used as a text word. However, indexing can be patchy with the result that records with 'systematic review' in the title or abstract do not always have literature reviews as the corresponding Subject Heading. Publication type such as Journal Articles, Reports, Information Analyses, is also available.

Summary: The use of thesaurus terms plus a free-text search of title and abstract is recommended.

Searching: ERIC was searched via Cambridge Scientific Abstracts on 18 August 2004. The search covered the period1990 - June 2004.

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HDA Evidence Base (EB)


Coverage: Health promotion and health inequalities. Contains systematic reviews of effectiveness, literature reviews, meta-analyses, expert group reports and other review-level information.

Dates covered: 2000 - current.

Update frequency: Monthly.

Versions examined: Free on the Internet - http://www.hda.nhs.uk/evidence

Indexing: The database can be searched by using a keyword search or a free-text title search. The following terms are keywords in the Type of Evidence field: systematic review, systematic review of effectiveness, literature review, and meta-analysis. Other terms, such as, 'case studies', 'longitudinal studies', 'prospective studies', and 'cohort studies' are not available either as keywords and or in the free-text search. If a suitable keyword cannot be found, the Public Health Information Thesaurus (HealthPromis) can be used.

Summary: The use of a free-text title search and a keyword search plus thesaurus terms is recommended.

Searching: The HDA EvidenceBase was searched using the website http://healthpromis.hda-online.org.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi.exe/hda/hda/60/31/X, on 18 August 2004.

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HealthPromis


Coverage: Health promotion. The database contains references to a range of sources, including official publications, surveys, reports, books, and journal articles.

Dates covered: 1992 - current.

Update frequency: Daily.

Versions examined: Free on the Internet - http://healthpromis.hda-online.org.uk/

Indexing: Thesaurus (Subject Headings): The following are thesaurus terms: systematic reviews, literature review, meta-analysis, case studies, case control studies, and cohort studies. 'Longitudinal research', and 'prospective studies' are not included in the thesaurus as terms, and are covered by the term cohort studies. Systematic reviews, literature review, case studies and case control studies are all narrower terms of research methods. Meta-analysis is a narrower term of literature review. Cohort studies is a narrower term of surveys. The database can be searched either by using thesaurus terms and/or free-text keywords or phrases.

Summary: The use of thesaurus terms plus a free-text search of title and abstract is recommended.

Searching: HealthPromis was searched on 18 August 2004 using the website above.

VIEW RESULTS

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
(from the BIDS service)


Coverage: The publishers claim that this is "One of the largest and most comprehensive social science databases in the world". It covers the core social science disciplines of Economics, Sociology, Politics & Anthropology. Over 1.5 million records from nearly half a century of social science research are captured. Currently information is taken from over 2400 selected international social science journals and around 7000 books each year. Abstracts are available for up to 5% of the journals covered. Over 30% of the original material is in languages other than English. Every non-English article is displayed with both the original language title and an English translation.

Dates covered: 1951 - current.

Update Frequency: Weekly.

Version examined: IBSS homepage - http://www.bids.ac.uk/

Indexing: There is no browsable thesaurus. Key words are attached to all records but the assignment of keywords relating to research methodology is not consistent. Cohort, Cohort analysis and Case studies were found to be keywords. Long-term analysis retrieved longitudinal studies. 'Systematic review' was not found as keyword. Abstracts are variable in content and are provided by journal/book publisher.

Summary: A free-text search of the title, abstract and key words is recommended but relevant publications may easily be missed.

Volume of studies in the database: A search of IBSS was undertaken on 17 August 2004 using the version above. Because keywords cannot be searched independently and are not assigned in a controlled way, there is no separate column for keywords and subject headings.

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MEDLINE


Coverage: MEDLINE is produced by the US National Library of Medicine and covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. MEDLINE contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from more than 4,600 biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 other countries. The database contains over 12 million citations. Coverage is worldwide, but most records are from English-language sources or have English abstracts.

Dates covered: 1966 - present.

Update Frequency: Monthly.

Versions examined: http://gateway.uk.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi OVID interface 1966 - 19 August 2004

Indexing: MEDLINE records are indexed using the MeSH controlled vocabulary. Records also receive Publication Types which are also controlled. MEDLINE was searched using the OvidWeb interface on 13 August 2003. The search covered the period 1966-19 August 2004.

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PsycINFO


Coverage: Psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, physiology, linguistics, anthropology, business, and law. The database contains citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations and technical reports.

Dates covered: 1987 - current.

Update Frequency: Weekly.

Versions examined: http://gateway.uk.ovid.com/gw1/ovidweb.cgi

Indexing: Thesaurus (Subject Headings): The thesaurus includes the following terms: literature review, meta analysis, cohort analysis, longitudinal studies, and prospective studies. The term 'systematic review' is not included in the thesaurus, but can be used as a keyword to search the title, abstract or key concepts. Literature review and meta analysis are related terms. Meta analysis is a narrower term of methodology and statistical analysis. Cohort analysis is used instead of cohort studies. Longitudinal studies is a narrower term of experimental design, and a broader term of prospective studies. The term 'case studies' is not included in the thesaurus, but can be used as a keyword to search the title, abstract or key concepts. The term literature review or research review is included in the Form/Content type section. Publication type, such as Journal Article or Book Chapter, is also available.

Summary: The use of the above thesaurus terms plus a free-text search of title, abstract and key concepts is recommended in order to locate systematic reviews.

Searching: Volume of studies in the database: A search of PsycINFO was undertaken on 17 August 2004 The database was searched for the period 1872 - Week 1August 2004.

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ReFeR


Coverage: This database records completed research from the NHS R&D Programme and the DH Policy Research Programme. ReFeR contains summaries of research findings from single 'primary' research studies as well as systematic reviews of primary studies.

Dates covered: Unknown.

Update Frequency: Unknown.

Version examined: http://www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/refr_web.nsf/basicsearch?OpenForm17.5

Indexing: There is no thesaurus or publication type field. There is a keywords field but these seem to be assigned by the author. The summary of each publication includes 'Primary keywords' include; systematic review (23 items found during search in January 2004 2002), longitudinal studies, cohort studies etc.

Summary: Of value for ongoing research projects and systematic reviews.

Searching: The database was searched via the web on 18 August 2004.

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Regard


Coverage: Information on social science research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Regard contains over 65,000 records. The database covers:

  • Initial research projects (called awards): details of researchers, institutions, award period and an abstract.
  • Research outputs: books, journal articles, conference papers etc.

Dates covered: Mid 1980s - current.

Update Frequency: Daily.

Version examined: Free on the Internet - http://www.regard.ac.uk

Indexing: The database has no thesaurus or keywords system.

Summary: The database will be of value for ongoing research projects but has limited coverage of systematic reviews.

Searching: Regard was searched on the website above on 18 August 2004.

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SIGLE


Coverage: SIGLE covers European non-conventional or grey literature in the fields of pure and applied natural sciences and technology, economics, social sciences, and humanities. Records contain informative titles in English and/or in the original language, the author's name, the research organization or educational institution, the document's date of publication and type, number of pages, report numbers and language, as well as subject classifications. Many records include also keywords and abstracts. In October 2002 the database contained 789,565 records.

Dates covered: 1976 - present.

Update Frequency: Monthly.

Versions examined: SilverPlatter CD-ROM (standalone version) 1980-12/2001 -
http://arc.uk.ovid.com/webspirs/start.ws?customer-cfu

Indexing: SIGLE does not have a formal thesaurus. It has supplementary terms and classification codes.

Searching: SIGLE was searched using the Silverplatter interface CD-ROM on 18 August 2004. The 1980-2004/06 edition was searched.

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Social Science Search Engine


Coverage: A database of over 50,000 Social Science Web pages. The resources in the Social Science Search Engine have been collected by software called a 'harvester' (similar mechanisms may be referred to as 'robots' or 'Web crawlers') rather than by human subject experts.

Dates covered: Unknown.

Update Frequency: Unknown.

Version examined: Free on the Internet - http://www.sosig.ac.uk/roads/cgi-bin/thesaurus.pl

Indexing: A large thesaurus is available but there are few relevant entries for research types, such as systematic review, cohort, longitudinal, cross-sectional etc. The search engine retrieved a number of records using these types of terms, but not a large number for systematic reviews. The results seemed more promising for other types of research (as might be expected) and useful references to research centres were found, for example, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, University of London http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/. Alternative Title: CLS, Social Statistics Research Unit.

Summary: This resource has potential value for finding relevant websites (of research active organisations) but of limited value for records of primary and secondary research studies.

Volume of studies in the database: A search of the Social Science Search Engine was undertaken on 17 August 2004 using the web site above.

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Social Sciences Citation Index


Coverage: The social sciences. More than 1,725 journals are indexed spanning 50 disciplines, plus individually selected, relevant items from over 3,300 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals. As of January 1992, the database contains searchable author abstracts for approximately 60% of the articles in the database.

Dates covered: 1981 - present.

Update Frequency: Weekly (approximately 2,700 new records per week).

Version examined: MIMAS (Web of Science) - http://wos.mimas.ac.uk/

Indexing: Indexing is brief and not thorough for research methodologies. Keywords and Keywords Plus: Author keywords are sometimes provided and are searchable. In addition, ISI generates KeyWords Plus for many articles. These are words or phrases that frequently appear in the titles of an article's references, but do not necessarily appear in the title of the article itself. KeyWords Plus may be present for articles that have no author keywords, or may include important terms not listed among the title, abstract, or author keywords. A paper that stated it was a cohort study (in the abstract) sometimes had a relevant heading in the author keywords and sometimes in KeyWords Plus but this was found to be unreliable as a tool for thorough searching. In a sample of ten papers which claimed to be a systematic review in the abstract, of the two records that had author keywords, only one included the phrase 'systematic review'. In the ten KeyWords plus fields, only one included 'systematic review', although a further three included 'randomised controlled trial' (2) or 'metaanalysis' (1).

Summary: The use of Key Words and Key Words Plus as well as a free-text search of the title and abstract is recommended. The search box automatically searches across Key Words, Key Words Plus and text words. It is not possible to search Key Words plus separately.

Volume of studies in the database: A search of the Social Sciences Citation Index was undertaken on 17 August 2004 and the database was searched for the period (1981 - 17 August 2004). The database has no formal thesaurus so the subject heading column is omitted. All searches of textwords should be carried out across the title, abstract and keyword fields.

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Social Service Abstracts


Coverage: Social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development. The database abstracts and indexes over 1,600 serials publications and includes abstracts of journal articles and dissertations, and citations to book reviews. The database contained over 80,660 records as of May 2002.

Dates covered: 1980 - current.

Update Frequency: Monthly, with approximately 400 new records added per update.

Version examined: CSA (Cambridge Scientific Abstracts) - http://www.uk2.csa.com

Indexing: Social Services Abstracts is a relatively small database focussing on social welfare issues. There is a significant overlap between Social Service Abstracts and its sister database Sociological Abstracts (see Section 3) and the indexing policies are the same.

Summary: The use of thesaurus terms plus a free-text search of words in the title and abstract is recommended.

Volume of studies in the database: A search of Social Services Abstracts was undertaken on 17 August 2004 using the version above.

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Sociological Abstracts


Coverage: Sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioural sciences. The database contains abstracts of journal articles from over 1,700 serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers. Records added after 1974 contain in-depth and non-evaluative abstracts of journal articles. The database contained over 573,017 records as of May 2002.

Dates covered: 1963 - current.

Update Frequency: Monthly, with approximately 2,500 new records added per update.

Version examined: http://uk2.csa.com

Indexing: "Descriptors" are provided for all records. These thesaurus terms are organised in a hierarchical structure with, for example Cohort Analysis and Longitudinal Studies as narrower terms under the broader term Methodology. There is no descriptor term for 'systematic review'. Terms are hyperlinked in the interface examined and can easily be searched. Keywords describing methodology are frequently assigned to records, but not always. Several examples were found of studies with 'longitudinal' or 'cohort' in the title, where no relevant descriptor term had been assigned. Abstracts are comprehensive and describe the methodology used. The abstracts are adapted from the source document.

Summary: The use of thesaurus terms (Descriptors) plus a free-text search of title and abstract is recommended.

Volume of studies in the database: A search of Sociological Abstracts was undertaken on 17 August 2004 using the version above.

VIEW RESULTS

Urbaline: Urbadisc


Coverage: Urban and regional planning and policy issues. The database contains references from major databases in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Urabdisc includes the following databases: Acompline and Urbaline (UK), Bibliodata-Docet-Urbanistica (Italy), Orlis (Germany), Urbamet (France), Urbaterr (Spain), and Lexicons (English, French and Spanish urban planning terms).

Urbaline: Cites coverage from major British national newspapers, as well as news reports from weekly specialist journals and from press releases issued by central government, local government and other organisations. Acompline: Contains bibliographic references to books, pamphlets, reports, and journal articles. It has an extensive coverage of 'grey' literature. The two databases cover the following topics: urban and regional planning; social policy; housing; environmental issues; local government policy; finance and administration; education; transportation; leisure and recreation; economic development; and community relations.

Dates covered: Urbaline: 1992 - current; Acompline: 1986 - current;

Update frequency: Unknown.

Versions examined: Available on CD-ROM. Also available online from https://extranet.london.gov.uk/ via the Cardiff University Database access.

Indexing: There is no browsable thesaurus. Urbaline and Acompline can be searched individually or simultaneously using a free-text search of the title, abstract and descriptors. The following terms are contained in the list of descriptors: systematic review, literature review, meta-analysis, case study, cohort study, longitudinal study, and prospective study. The other four databases are in Italian, German, French, and Spanish. They all contain a free-text and descriptors search facility. The Italian and German databases also contain a subject search facility.

Summary: The use of both systematic review and literature review in a free-text search of title, abstract and descriptors is recommended.

Searching: The CD-ROM version of Urabdisc (2004 Release 2.11) was searched and restricted to a search of Urbaline.

VIEW RESULTS

This page was last updated: 10 September 2009

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Selected, reliable information for health and social care in one place

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.