Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library

Search for journal article references

Free databases


  • Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine
  • Includes over 20 million citations from nearly 4,500 biomedical journals from mid-1940s
  • Covers about 110 important veterinary journals
  • Provides links to online full-text journals at publisher Web sites and free sources
  • Enables saved searches and current awareness updates
  • Has PubMed Online Training with Tutorial and Quick Tours
  • PubMed MEDLINE Searching: Veterinary Medicine (brochure)

Google Scholar

  • Covers many sources of research and scientific materials on the Web
  • May provide links to free full-text
  • Try "Advanced Scholar Search"


  • Cornell veterinary diagnostic support system by disease diagnosis and clinical sign(s)
  • Created and maintained by Dr. Maurice "Pete" White
  • Includes selected recent article references and links to PubMed MEDLINE under each diagnosis
  • Search by one or more clinical signs, or by disease diagnosis

Purchased or membership databases

First Move-Veterinary Journal Index

  • Indexes nearly 140 veterinary journals totaling over 70,000 citations from 1970
  • Semi-annual updates on CD-ROM; can be loaded on an office computer
  • Issued in 4 sections by species: Small Animal, Equine, Avian/exotic, Food Animal, or combined Zoo package
  • Available for purchase here or contact Marty Page at or call 1-303-794-3074 (Littleton, CO)

Veterinary Information Network (VIN)

  • Requires annual membership for individual veterinarians or group practices
  • Provides tables-of-contents, abstracts and links to full-text for about 150 core veterinary journals
  • Use “search” at bottom of VIN’s Journal Library page
  • Membership available here
  • Veterinary Information Network
    777 W. Covell Blvd., Davis, CA 95616
    800-700-4636 Toll free
    530-756-4881 phone
    530-756-6035 fax

VetMedResource (CABI, U.K.)

  • Covers over 3,000 journals with over 1 million citations to the international veterinary and animal science literature from CAB Abstracts database
  • Access to full-text selected articles and conference proceedings
  • Access to Animal Health and Production Compendium, a disease and drugs database, data sheets, and image library
  • Subscription available here
  • CABI Head Office
    Nosworthy Way
    Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8DE, U.K.
    Tel: (+44) 01491 832111
    Fax: (+44) 01491 829292

Note: Free trial is available for recent Cornell D.V.M. graduates in 2010-2011


General Searching Hints:

  • Choose significant or generally accepted subject keywords in current usage
  • Consider word variations and synonyms
  • e.g., johne’s disease, paratuberculosis
  • Start broad, then limit or narrow your search as needed
  • e.g., limit by species, date, language, or review

To focus on clinical veterinary articles and exclude experimental animal
studies in PubMed, enter veterinary subset [sb] at the beginning of a search.

veterinary [sb] cardiomyopathy cats diagnosis
  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) between search boxes or combine terms and synonyms within parenthesis to focus how the search is performed
  • AND    Narrows or combines terms
    OR      Broadens or expands concepts, or groups synonyms and word variations
    NOT    Excludes certain terms; be aware this might eliminate important results

  • To help you "set-up" a search strategy, mentally or on paper, sort and arrange possible search terms and their synonyms into concept categories that can then be combined with Boolean operators using parenthesis or entered into advanced search boxes.  For example,
colic surgery |
  surgical | OR
  therapy |
  treatment |
horse |
horses | OR
equine |
leptospirosis   dog |
leptospira dogs | OR
  canine |
  puppy |
| OR
  • Enter grouped search terms into the search boxes of the particular database's interface.
  • In PubMed, the above searches might be entered in the single search box as follows:

    colic AND (surgery OR surgical OR therapy OR treatment) AND horses

    leptospirosis AND dogs AND (vaccination OR vaccine OR immunization) AND review

    veterinary [sb] leptospirosis dogs vaccination

    NOTE: PubMed MEDLINE uses standardized species terms, such as dogs, horses, cats, etc. which eliminates the need to enter species variation terms (e.g., pig, pigs, sow, porcine).  In some databases, species variations must be entered to avoid overlooking important articles.

    In PubMed, it is not necessary to include Boolean AND operators when they are implied or used as the default.  Enter ANDs only when combined with parentheses and/or ORs to handle synonyms.


  • Limit searches to date ranges, "review" for articles that summarize the literature, and language as needed to narrow down the number of references retrieved.