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Discovery Seminar - Drugs in Chemistry and Culture - Scharf - Fall 2021

This guide is for students in Dr. Scharf's Discovery Seminar: Drugs in Chemistry and Culture
  General Databases

General databases are research databases that contain materials (articles, data sets, images, charts, and more) from a wide variety of publications that cover many different disciplines. Below are a few examples of Emory Libraries most popular multidisciplinary databases.


NEXT: Click on the tab PubMed


In this class, you'll probably need to look up information in PubMed. PubMed can be an intimidating database to use, but these tips can help!


  MeSH Terms

Using Medical Subject Headings, or MeSH, may help you retrieve more relevant search results. MeSH are the subject terms applied to nearly all PubMed citations. However, it is important to remember that some PubMed citations - including the very newest citations - do not have MeSH terms applied to them, and therefore will not appear in a search that exclusively uses MeSH terms.

Three ways to search using MeSH:

  • Use the MeSH terms from a known, relevant article: Search for a known article, click to open the full record, then scroll down to see the MeSH terms applied to that article. Clicking on a MeSH term will allow you to either search PubMed using only that term, or add that term to the search box; you can then add additional terms and execute your search.
  • Use the MeSH Database to find terms, then build a search using those terms.
  • Use Advanced Search to search using known MeSH terms: If you know the MeSH terms you want for your search, click Advanced under the Search box, then use the drop-down menu in Advanced Search.

To see suggested MeSH terms based on a block of submitted text (ie, an abstract or article, etc.), use the MeSH on Demand tool. MeSH on Demand also lists similar PubMed articles relevant to your submitted text, thus MeSH on Demand can help you find articles similar to a known, relevant article.

Information used on a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License from UC Berkeley's PubMed Guide.


Reaxys provides information about millions of chemical structures, reactions, and properties. It is an important tool for researchers who are synthesizing and characterizing chemical compounds, or searching for data on the physical, chemical, spectral, or toxicological properties of chemical substances.