Michelle Brumby, Joint Head of Information Services, MIDIRS
But despite the crude nature of that first midwifery offering, the process behind it was anything but and led to the creation of the MIDIRS Reference Database. A behemoth of midwifery information, the Reference Database has belied its humble roots to become the largest of its kind in the world.
Back in early 2011, MIDIRS unveiled a new and improved Reference Database. With a fresh new interface and extended functionality, the new Database made accessing essential information an easier and more interactive experience.
Since the relaunch two years ago, a staggering 32,000 new records have been added to the Database, which currently contains around 203,000 references covering all topics relating to maternity care, including:
• Preconception care
• Antenatal care and education
• Labour and birth
• Infant feeding
• Postnatal care
• Transition to parenthood
• Care of the infant from birth to two years
• Maternity services
• Midwifery practice.
The Database is updated on a daily basis and approximately 1000 new article abstracts are added every month by MIDIRS team of information specialists, who scan over 400 information sources.
So, if you are new to MIDIRS or just need a reminder of what a fantastic resource it is, here is a quick guide to help you to get the most out of the Database.
Searching the Database
There are three ways of finding information:
• Basic search
• Advanced search
• Browsing our search packs.
The basic search is a great place to start – especially if you just beginning your research or are happy to browse through a wide range of results. Simply type your search term into the box (see right).
Search results can be sorted by relevance, by newest or oldest articles and also by article type, for example original article, systematic review, guidelines etc.
The advanced search lets you build your search query quickly and easily by using interactive, field-based searching. This allows you to better focus your search and save yourself valuable time.
With the advanced search, you can combine searching specific fields such as author, article title or abstract to retrieve more targeted results (elizabeth). For example, to find the systematic review by Ryan et al (2013) published in Midwifery journal, enter ‘Ryan’ in the first search field and choose [Author] from the Select a field drop-down menu, enter ‘midwife-led’ in the [Title] field and ‘Midwifery’ in the [Publication] field (Fig 2.)
Clicking on search options will expand the search further, giving you the option of sorting your results by relevance, by newest or oldest articles or by article type (eg original research, systematic review, guidelines etc).
Search results are listed in sets of ten. To move on to the next set of results, click on page numbers or ‘Next ‘ or ‘Last page’ links at the bottom of each page.
Each article results is displayed in its own tabbed box (Fig 3). Each reference has an author abstract or summary written by one of the MIDIRS Information team.
Browsing MIDIRS Search Packs
If you are having trouble finding what you’re looking for or don’t have the time to search, our pre-prepared Search Packs are a great way of providing easy access to over 560 key midwifery topics.
To search our Search Packs,
follow these three simple steps:
• Select your main area of interest (eg breastfeeding, postnatal care)
• Select a sub-category (eg promotion and support)
• Select the title of the Search Pack you wish to view.
Each search pack provides you with a list of bibliographic references and article abstracts. You can then use this list to source full text from your university or Trust library, or order photocopies direct from MIDIRS.
Still can’t find what you’re looking for?
If you are struggling to find the information you need, or simply don’t have time to look, MIDIRS team of information specialists can conduct a Bespoke Search of the Database on your behalf – contact us on 0117 370 6787 to discuss your requirements or fill in the order form on our website. Alternatively send the Information Team a message here.
Don’t forget – you can also get instant access to our Information team by using our new live chat service – available in the bottom right have corner of all our Information pages. We are online Monday to Friday during office hours but you can still submit queries out of hours and we will get back to you as soon as we are back in the office.
How do I subscribe?
To subscribe to the MIDIRS Reference Database, click here.
Brumby M. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, vol 24, number 1
Original article. © MIDIRS 2013.
Photo credit: © Paylessimages – Fotolia.com