SCIE Report 34: Bibliographic databases for social care searching

By Janet Clapton

Published: July 2010


Systematic searching is a time consuming and costly activity, both in terms of staff time and subscriptions to bibliographic databases. At the same time, the need to find key evidence means that searching should be exhaustive. Therefore information specialists and researchers should make informed decisions on which databases to use. In the social care field, the evidence on which to base these decisions is limited. The information that exists on database coverage and overlap is not plentiful in any field, but that which exists shows that the nature of database coverage and overlap is strongly topic dependent.


The main aim of this work is to help information professionals and researchers make an informed choice of databases when planning searches on social care topics. In light of lack of previous evidence, this study adds significantly to what is known about the relevance and coverage of social care databases, particularly on children's social care topics.


This report is aimed at information professionals and researchers who:

The methodology of database comparison is also relevant to those searching in other fields.


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  • SCIE Report 34: Bibliographic databases for social care searching