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Free Health Sciences Information: Databases


Currently content in this guide is courtesy of Rutgers George F. Smith Library Associate Director, Roberta Bronson Fitzpatrick, with thanks for technical contribution by Librarian Marie K. Saimbert.

Free Databases on the Internet

ACTIS (AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service)

Produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, this site contains information about AIDS clinical trials and the drugs and vaccines being tested.  Information is also available in Spanish. 

AGRICOLA (National Agricultural Library)

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access) is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and its cooperators.  The database covers materials in all formats, including printed works from the 15th century, encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines.  It is organized into two bibliographic sets, Online Public Access Catalog, covering books, audiovisual materials, serial publications and other material in the NAL collection, and Journal Article Citation Index, with citations to journal articles, book chapters, reports, and reprints.  It contains food/nutrition information.

Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Science Database (ETOH)

Produced by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), ETOH contains over 110,000 records, including references to journal articles, books, dissertation abstracts, conference papers and proceedings, reports and studies, and chapters in edited works. It is indexed with vocabulary from the Alcohol and Other Drug Thesaurus: A Guide to Concepts and Terminology in Substance Abuse and Addiction

ATIS (HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service)

This file contains information about a broad range of HIV/AIDS treatment options, using federal, national, and community-based information resources.   A Treatment Guideline Library contains the latest federally approved HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines. (National Cancer Institute)

This is a gateway to peer-reviewed information which is organized by cancer type.  It includes links to PDQ (Physician Data Query), SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) and other specialized information resources.


CANCERLIT® is a bibliographic database that contains more than 1.5 million citations and abstracts from over 4,000 different sources including biomedical journals, proceedings, books, reports, and doctoral theses. The database contains references to cancer literature published from the 1960s to the present and is updated with more than 8,000 records every month.

CDC Wonder

Search for and retrieve MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – a journal) articles and Prevention Guidelines published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, located in Atlanta, GA).  Query public use data sets about mortality, cancer incidence, hospital discharges, AIDS, behavioral risk factors, diabetes and other topics.  Good section of information for those planning to travel.

CCRIS (Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System)

Carcinogenicity (the process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells), mutagenicity (the development of mutations), tumor promotion, and tumor inhibition data provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are contained in this database.


Contains numerous chemical synonyms, structures, regulatory list information, and links to other databases containing information about the chemicals.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, through its National Library of Medicine, has developed to provide patients, family members and members of the public current information about clinical research studies.

CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects)

CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects) is a searchable database of federally funded biomedical research projects conducted at universities, hospitals, and other research institutions. The database, maintained by the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health, includes projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Office of Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH).  To search CRISP, you must use one of the following browsers with JavaScript enabled:  Netscape 3.0 (or later) or Internet Explorer 4.0 (beta or later). Internet Explorer 3.0, despite best programming efforts, is not compatible.

DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness)

A database of quality assessed reviews of clinical medical articles from the primary journal literature from the British National Health Service, by way of the University of York.

DART/ETIC (Developmental & Reproductive Toxicology AND Environmental Teratology Information Center)

Current and older literature on developmental and reproductive toxicology.

GENE-TOX (Genetic Toxicology)

Peer-reviewed mutagenicity test data from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Health Services/Technology Assessment Text (HSTAT)

HSTAT is a free, web-based resource that provides access to full-text documents useful for providing health information and for health care decision-making.  HSTAT provides access to a wide variety of publications, including: clinical practice guidelines, quick-reference guides for clinicians, consumer health brochures, evidence reports and technology assessments from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), as well as AHRQ's Put Prevention Into Practice. Other important documents in HSTAT are the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference Reports and Technology Assessment Reports; the HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service (ATIS) resource documents; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA/CSAT) Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIP) and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA/CSAP) Prevention Enhancement Protocols System (PEPS); the Public Health Service (PHS) Preventive Services Task Force's Guide to Clinical Preventive Services; the independent, nonfederal Task Force on Community Services Guide to Community Preventive Services; and the Health Technology Advisory Committee (HTAC) of the Minnesota Health Care Commission (MHCC) health technology evaluations.

HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank)

A databank with a broad scope in the literature of human and animal toxicity, including safety and handling of hazardous substances, environmental fate, and more.  Scientifically peer-reviewed.

IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System)

Data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of human health risk assessment, focusing on hazard identification and dose-response assessment.

National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC)

This is a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. NGC is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans.

NLM Gateway

The NLM Gateway allows users to search in multiple retrieval systems at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). The current Gateway searches MEDLINE/PubMed, OLDMEDLINE, LOCATORplus, MEDLINEplus, DIRLINE, AIDS Meetings, Health Services Research Meetings, Space Life Sciences Meetings, and HSRProj.

NLM Locatorplus

The National Library of Medicine's LOCATORplus is the Library's catalog of books, journals, and audiovisuals and access points to other medical research tools.  Hospital/university/public libraries may borrow materials from NLM on behalf of their users.

PDQ (Physician Data Query)

PDQ (Physician Data Query) is NCI's comprehensive cancer database. It contains peer-reviewed summaries on cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, and supportive care (includes nutrition/dietary information); a registry of approximately 1,800 open and 12,000 closed cancer clinical trials from around the world; and directories of physicians, professionals who provide genetics services, and organizations that provide cancer care.


Produced by Johns Hopkins Population Information Program, POPLINE provides citations with abstracts from worldwide literature in the field of reproduction, family planning, and health-related issues.  Special emphasis upon information aimed at and about developing nations.


PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, provides access to over eleven million MEDLINE citations back to the mid-1960's and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.

PubMed Central

PubMed Central is a digital archive of life sciences journal literature managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). It is not a journal publisher. Access to PubMed Central (PMC) is free and unrestricted.  In 2008, there was a federal mandate that all published authors who received NIH funding for the project that the article was based upon MUST deposit a full copy of their article in PubMed Central.  This resource will continue to grow!

SUM Search

Another evidence-based medicine database, SUM Search selects the best resources for your question, formats your question for each resource, and makes additional searches based on results. Content is available in English, French, and Spanish. Produced by the University of Texas.

TOXLINE (Toxicology Literature Online)

Extensive array of references to literature on biochemical, pharmacological, physiological (relating to the science of the functions of living organism), and toxicological effects of drugs and other chemicals.

TOXNET (Toxicology Data Network)

This is a cluster of databanks on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas.  Databanks differ from databases in that they contain factual information, rather than citations leading users to information.  Using a databank is very much like reading chapters of an online textbook.

TRI (Toxics Release Inventory)

Contains annual estimated releases of toxic chemicals to the environment - the Environmental Protection Agency's TRI (Toxics Release Inventory).  Search to see what toxic chemicals are used, manufactured, or stored in your community.

TRIP Database

The TRIP Database searches over 55 sites of high-quality medical information. The TRIP Database gives you direct, hyperlinked access to the largest collection of 'evidence-based' material on the web as well as articles from premier on-line journals such as the BMJ, JAMA, the New England Journal of Medicine, etc.

Contact Information

Contact Info:
Rutgers George F. Smith Library
30 Twelfth Avenue Newark, NJ 07103