Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Coronavirus – Information Resources

*Update 09/03/2020
RCSI Library will no longer update this blog post. For a more up to date version of this information please go to our dedicated LibGuides page libguides.rcsi.ie/COVID19

RCSI Library has collated a selection of resources on the coronavirus including medical databases, government and national healthcare websites, and resources made available by publishers to facilitate international research.

Tips for searching the literature

It is recommended that you search key medical databases to find journal article references, and then access the full text of these articles via our e-journal portal and document supply service.  

Medline/PubMed - medicine
Embase – medicine and pharmacology
Scopus – medicine and science
Cochrane – systematic reviews 
Web of Science – interdisciplinary

A list of RCSI Library resources can be found on our A-Z LibGuides Page

Search strategy 

  • Search for your keywords in all fields - sample keyword search using “inverted commas” for exact phrases:
    coronavirus OR “COVID-19” OR “2019 novel coronavirus disease” OR “2019-nCoV” OR coronavirinae OR “2019 novel coronavirus”
  • Search for Subject Headings to ensure your search is comprehensive.  Subject Headings are provided in some databases: MeSH in PubMed; Emtree in Embase.
  • Combine searches of similar meaning with OR, then combine different topics with AND.  
  • Use Filters if appropriate: do not filter to Human if you think recent animal research may be useful.  Do not limit your results to full text in any database as this will exclude relevant articles from your results set.  Recent articles in press may only provide an abstract if full text is not yet available.
  • Sort your results by most recent.

Searching PubMed

When you do a keyword [All Field] search in PubMed, the results automatically include a subject heading [MeSH] search.   Click on Advanced Search – Details to view the search strategy.  Sort Results by most recent.

Searching Embase

Open Embase from the library A-Z LibGuides page.  In the Advanced Search tick the Mapping options to include Emtree and free text searches.

Embase Disease Term: Coronavirus infection

Embase Emtree Subject Terms: 'coronaviridae'/exp OR 'coronavirinae'/exp

Searching Scopus

Open Scopus from the A-Z LibGuides page and click on the Advanced tab.  Copy and paste the following search string and click on Search:

TITLE-ABS-KEY(coronavirus OR "Middle East respiratory syndrome" OR "Severe acute respiratory syndrome" OR "Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus" OR "Feline infectious peritonitis virus" OR "Murine hepatitis virus" OR "Avian infectious bronchitis virus") AND RECENT(60)

Searching Cochrane

Search for coronavirus in the Title Abstract Keyword fields and click on the Clinical Trials tab to view registered trials if there are no relevant systematic reviews published yet.

Clinical Summaries 

DynaMed topic

UpToDate alert

BMJ Best Practice 


Guidance for healthcare professionals and the public

Department of Health, Ireland – information for the public

Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Ireland

HSE guidance for the public

Department of Health, England - information for the public

Department of Health, England – guidance for healthcare professionals

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

World Health Organisation

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health

U.S. National Library of Medicine - For a pre-set search see the Additional NLM Resources link to Journal Article Citations (PubMed)

U.S. Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering: interactive map of reported cases

Publishers providing access for researchers 

Wellcome and Nature are among organisations to call for Coronavirus content to be shared openly. A number of publishers including those listed below have made content available:




The New England Journal of Medicine


The Lancet

Wiley Online Library

Taylor and Francis Group

JAMA Network

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