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Researcher's Toolkit: Discover

Select Appropriate Resources

The library provides access to a wide variety of topic-specific health resources. Your information needs are dependent on the type of research you are doing.  For example, knowledge synthesis research (e.g. systematic reviews) on biomedical topics usually involves searching the following databases :


A librarian can help you determine which resources are most appropriate, whether you are completing a case study or engaging in knowledge synthesis research.

Refine Your Search Strategy

HSL has expertise in building complex literature searches in journal article databases, including: harvesting search terms, identifying appropriate subject headings and translating the search across different databases. We can also advise on saving your search history, exporting search results to reference management systems, and how to validate your search against existing known literature. 

Find Grey Literature

Grey literature is research produced outside traditional commercial or academic publishing channels, such as: content in clinical trial registries or registered studies, conference proceedings, government or organizational reports, blog posts, research logs, etc). 

HSL can help researchers navigate the complexities of discovering grey literature in their field. 

Document Your Search

Knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation research is held to high standards during the searching stage. Librarians can offer guidance around:

  • Proper documentation of resource use
  • Justification for why you would select specific resources
  • Record keeping of exported search results so that you may generate a Prisma flowchart at a later date
  • Storing key workflow details so that you may retrieve and rerun your search strategy down the road

> Contact Us to Book a Research Consult

Search Data Repositories

Are you looking for data? The following resources are sources of freely available, archived data . As always, contact us if you need a hand locating the data you need!


Discipline-Specific Data Repositories


General Purpose Data Repositories

Visit Find Research Data from McMaster Research Data Services for additional information.