Bibliographic databases, indexes and journals

Conventional and general complementary medical databases


Produced by the United States National Library of Medicine. Contains over 7,500,000 references and abstracts, scanning 3,700 journals from over 70 countries since 1966. Updated monthly. Covers only a limited number of unconventional medical journals. Coverage extremely good for orthodox medicine. Useful for finding background information on a medical condition and on orthodox methods of treatment. Searchers using Medline to find complementary medical research are advised to study its index of keywords carefully. Keywords are known as MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms. Monthly updates. Corresponds in part to printed 'Index Medicus'.


Similar to Medline in scope, covering 3,300 journals plus some conference proceedings. European coverage superior to Medline. specialises in pharmacology and biomedical literature. Uses EMTREE thesaurus of key terms. Corresponds to printed 'Excerpta Medica'. Available on CD-ROM at larger libraries and On-line through Data Star and through BIDS-registered institutions.

AMED (Alternative and Allied Medicine Database)

Database established in 1985 by the British Library's Medical Information Centre. Total of 65,000 references, few abstracts. Scans 400 journals for references to Complementary Medicine. Also contains references for Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation, Podiatry. Updated monthly. Thesaurus contains some MeSH keywords and others specific to AMED. Available in floppy-disk format from the British Library Medical Information Service, Boston Spa. On-line searches available through Datastar or MIC-KIBIC. Also available as printed monthly indexes (Complementary Medicine Index).

CISCOM, The Centralised Information Service for Complementary Medicine

0171 833 8897 9.30-17.30 weekdays
Contact: Andrew Vickers, Rebecca Rees Research Council for Complementary Medicine 60 Great Ormond Street London WC1N 3JF

Mediated service. Searches are carried out over the telephone. 30,000 references. Combines data from Medline, AMED, other specialist European databases and in-house citation tracking. Abstracts available. Covers all therapies. Information packs available, including research methodology and surveys into the use of, and attitudes towards, complementary medicine. Searches start at #10 and depend on the number of references and complexity of search. Student reductions. Uses AMED thesaurus with additional terms.

CINAHL (Cumulative Index on Nursing and Allied Health Literature)

Database specialising in nursing care and theory, available in CD-ROM in many nursing and medical libraries. Also available in printed format.


Corresponds to printed 'Biological Abstracts'. Covers all aspects of biology. Available on CD-ROM in British Library's Aldwych Reading Room.


Covers all aspects of agriculture, including related subjects such as veterinary medicine and nutrition. Available on CD-ROM in British Library's Aldwych Reading Room.


Corresponds to printed 'Psychological Abstracts'. Available on CD-ROM in British Library's Bloomsbury Reading Room.


Covers publication details (full title, frequency, circulation, publisher's address and telephone number) of approximately 92,000 journals. Available on CD-ROM in British Library's Aldwych Reading Room.

SIGLE (System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe)

Available on CD-ROM in British Library's Holborn Reading room. Accessible on-line through BLAISE-LINK at British Library's Science and Technology Information Service. British Library acquisitions covered by printed 'British Reports, Translations and Theses'. Subject searches of British 'grey literature' available through British Library at Boston Spa, 01937 546044 or 546172.

Science Citation Index/Social Science Citation Index

Can search for authors and papers that cite a published paper. Available on CD-ROM at the British Library Holborn Reading Room, Wellcome Institute Library.

Therapy specific databases

Hom-Inform information service

tel: +44 141 211 1617  fax: +44 141 211 1610
Open:10.00-18.00 weekdays
Contact: Mrs Mary Gooch, Librarian

Faculty of Homoeopathy Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital 1053 Great Western Road Glasgow G12 0XQ
Email: hom-inform@dial

Hom-Inform database contains 17,000 references based on contents of Faculty of Homoeopathy library. Searches can be carried out on a specified subject. On-line searches can also be negotiated. Charges for non members: 10p per reference, photocopying service available, student reductions.

EXTRACT database

0392 433828 weekdays
Contact: Martin WiIloughby/Simon Mills Centre for Complementary Health Studies University of Exeter Streatham Court, Rennes Drive Exeter EX4 4PU

Database containing annotated and codified information about the chemistry, pharmacology and therapeutics of medicinal plants.

Other database services

The British Library Science and Technology Information Service

0171 323 7477 Open: 9.30-17.00 weekdays
Aldwych Reading Room, 9 Kean Street London WC2B 4AT
Can carry out on-line searches of AMED, Medline, Embase, SIGLE. Prices start at around 50.

Journals and Bulletins

Journals that regularly include original research of a high standard

Complementary Therapies in Medicine

(Quarterly, 1993-, ISSN 0965-2299) Published by Churchill Livingstone
Requests for sample copies should be sent to:
Pearson Professional Ltd., PO Box 77, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5BQ.
Tel 01279 623623 Fax 01279639609

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery

(Quarterly, 1995-) Published by Churchill Livingstone
Enquiries: Tel 01279 623623 Fax 01279639609

Complementary Medical Research

(1986-1992) Published by the British Library

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Research on Paradigm, Practice and Policy

(Quarterly, Spring 1995-, ISSN 1075-5535) Subscription details: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, 1651 Third Avenue New York, NY 10128, USA.
Fax: (212) 289 4697

International Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

(Monthly, 1983-, ISSN 1357-9452) Subscription details: Green Library, 9 Rickett Street, Fulham, London SW6 1RU.
Tel: 0171 385 0012 Fax: 0171 385 4566

Alternative and Complementary Therapies

(Bimonthly, 1994-, ISSN: 1077-2809) Subscription details: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, 1651 Third Avenue New York, NY 10128, USA.
Fax: (212) 289 4697

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

(Bimonthly, May 1995-, ISSN: 1078-6791) Subscription details: InnoVision, POBox 627, Holmes, PA 19043, USA.

Research and Information in Complementary Medicine

The Bulletin of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine
(Quarterly, 1994-, ISSN: 1358-6092) RCCM, 60 Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JF

Quarterly bulletin contains selected abstracts and references, with additional comment, from the RCCM's CISCOM database

Complementary Medicine Index

Monthly index published by the British Library. Also available in electronic format as part of the BL's Alternative medicine (AMED) database.
Enquiries: 01937 546 039

Journal of Interprofessional Care

(1986- ISSN 0884-3988) Published by Carfax Publishing Company


138 Oak Tree Lane Mansfield Notts NH18 3HR
Quarterly publication includes selected herbal medicine references and abstracts.