Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine

Databases for veterinary medicine

Veterinary databases

In 2010-11 we carried out a study to compare the coverage of veterinary journals by nine bibliographic databases, to inform future systematic reviews.

We used the widely-accepted "Basic List of Veterinary Medical Serials, Third Edition"—a list of 121"core" veterinary journals—and an extensive list of 1,139 journals with significant veterinary content specially compiled for this study from a variety of sources. We then analysed the coverage of both these lists of journals in each database.

Key findings:

  • For the "Basic List of Veterinary Medical Serials", the percentage coverage was the highest for Scopus (98.3%) and CAB Abstracts (97.5%).
  • For the extensive list of 1139 journals, coverage was much greater in CAB Abstracts (90.2%) than in any other database, with the next highest coverage being in Scopus (58.3%).
  • MEDLINE gave only 36.5% coverage of the extensive journal list.
  • The maximum coverage of the extensive journal list that could be obtained in a search without including CAB Abstracts was 69.8%.

We concluded that it is important to include CAB Abstracts in any search of the veterinary literature to maximize journal coverage and avoid missing potentially relevant evidence.

The results of this work have been published:

Grindlay DJ, Brennan ML, Dean RS. Searching the veterinary literature: a comparison of the coverage of veterinary journals by nine bibliographic databases. J Vet Med Educ. 2012;39:404-12. 

Contacts: Dr Rachel Dean and Dr Marnie Brennan

Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 951 6576
Fax: +44 (0) 115 951 6415
Email: CEVM@nottingham.ac.uk