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Pharmacy: Key resources

A guide to finding information in pharmacy. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

Use the databases listed on this page to find relevant information on topics in pharmacy. They will give you access to both primary and secondary sources of information.

  • Primary sources - these are first hand accounts of research that has been undertaken written by the researchers themselves.
  • Secondary sources - describe, summarize, or discuss information or details originally presented in another source. Books are usually secondary sources. As are review articles which summarise the current state of the knowledge on a topic (many databases allow you to restrict search results to this type of article). A more specialised secondary source is a systematic review, which uses the existing literature to try to answer a specific question, often including a meta-analysis of the all the studies included in the relevant articles.

Key databases

These are the major resources for finding literature and information in this subject. 

Drug databases
Key databases for finding journal articles and systematic reviews

Other useful resources

These specialist sources may be useful for final year projects.

Key websites

Most of these resources are freely available. Those only available to University members have red icons next to the name.

General resources


Medicinal chemistry

Pharmacy practice

Other useful sites

Most of these resources are freely available. Those only available to University members have red icons next to the name.

General sources
Diseases & conditions

Accessing online Library resources

If you are on campus you will be able to access most e-journals and e-books, and some databases, without entering a username and password because your IP address identifies you as being at the University of Reading.

For any that require a login, see the Off-campus tab.

Terms of Use

When you use our e-resources you are agreeing to our Terms of Use. Please take a moment to look at these by following the link below:

When you are off-campus you will need to login to identify yourself as a member of the University of Reading to gain access to our protected databases, e-books and e-journals. 

Your login details

You login in the same way as for Blackboard - via Microsoft. Just enter your University username followed by (e.g. and your password. If this is the first time you have logged in via this method when off-campus you will be asked to complete a Multi-Factor Authentication. For more information see:

Getting to the login page...

  • For most resources, if you follow a link from our website or catalogues your login will be picked up automatically or you will be prompted to login straightaway. 
  • If you access resources via another route you will need to look for a login option once you reach the resource you are trying to access. Look for an institutional or shibboleth login option and pick 'University of Reading' from a list of institutions. This will then pick up your login or prompt you to login. For more information about institutional login, please see the link below:
Logging in to Library resources

Watch this short video on how you login to use Library resources.

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Logging in to the Library video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Doing a literature search

This short playlist shows you how to prepare for and perform a literature search. The first video introduces literature searches and their role. The second video covers using the search operators AND and OR to create a search statement, and explains the role of wildcards and truncation in constructing a comprehensive search. 

If you are unable to view these videos on YouTube they are also available on YuJa or Stream (University username and password required):

We also have the following generic guide to literature searching and searching databases:

Planning your own search

Use the template below to help plan out your own literature search - identifying keywords and synonyms. There's also an example to help guide you and an example of adapting a search for different databases.

Getting items not held at Reading

Map of the south of the UKOur Inter-Library Loans service can get articles, books and other publications not held at Reading from other libraries (usually from the British Library).

For more information see our webpages:

Creating a comprehensive search on PubMed (using field tags)

Most health-related systematic reviews will involve a search on PubMed. But do you know how to create the most effective search strategy to take advantage of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)? This video created by John Hopkins University explains all the steps involved in ensuring your search is as comprehensive as possible.

Doing a systematic review

We have produced a detailed guide to doing a systematic review:

There's also a playlist of five videos for an introduction to the key steps in doing a systematic review:

  • Video 1 - getting started, an overview of the process.
  • Video 2 - covers the first four steps in doing a systematic review, including creating a protocol and searching for literature.
  • Video 3 - covers the fifth and sixth steps in doing a systematic review. It focuses on using Desktop EndNote to manage references and screening the literature.
  • Video 4 - covers writing it up and creating a PRISMA diagram.
  • Video 5 - a more detailed video on using EndNote for managing references collected for a systematic review.

If you are unable to view these videos on YouTube they are also available on YuJa (University username and password required):