This guide is intended for use by pharmacy and environmental health researchers, as well as anyone searching for information on toxic substances.

Getting Started

Essential Resources

MEDLINE

MEDLINE is the primary source of journal citations and abstracts for biomedical literature around the world. MEDLINE can be searched via the following platforms:

  • PubMed is free to search and is best for quick searches using keywords. 
  • Ovid MEDLINE is a subscription-based platform that is best for constructing comprehensive and exhaustive literature searches using MeSH headings and keywords.

ToxInfo

Provided by ToxPlanet, and replacing the very popular TOXNET which was decommissioned, ToxInfo searches databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. Included databases are Hazardous Substances Data Bank, ChemIDplus, Comparative Toxicogenomics Database, Consumer Product Information Database, Haz-Map, Integrated Risk Information System, International Toxicity Estimates for Risk, Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System, Carcinogenic Potency Database, and Genetic Toxicology Data Bank. For a description of individual databases, see ToxInfo’s homepage.

SciFinder

SciFinder is the best database for chemistry-related topics. SciFinder includes journals, patents, chemical regulatory data, and supplier, reaction, and substance information. Registration is required. For off-campus access, you must download and log-in to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) from the UMN Office of Information Technology.

  • Get help: Chemical Abstracts Service, a division of the American Chemical Society, offers on-demand, targeted SciFinder training resources, organized by search type.

PubChem

PubChem is the world's largest collection of freely accessible chemical information. Search chemicals by name, molecular formula, structure, and other identifiers. Find chemical and physical properties, biological activities, safety and toxicity information, patents, literature citations and more.

Additional Resources

BIOSIS

Via Web of Science, BIOSIS covers life sciences and biomedical research covering pre-clinical and experimental research, methods and instrumentation, animal studies, and more. Access content from journals, meetings, patents, and books.

EMBASE

EMBASE is a biomedical and pharmacological database covering journal articles, conference proceedings, and gray literature. It is strong in its coverage of pharmaceutical research and international and non-English content - there is significant overlap with MEDLINE. Covers 1947 to present.

MICROMEDEX

MICROMEDEX is a drug resource that includes information on drug identification, packaging, interaction and contraindication, drug prices, international formulations, occupational safety sheets, safety in pregnancy, and more. Search MICROMEDEX for toxicology information by using the search bar, or use the Tox & Drug Product Lookup tool located under the Other Tools menu.

  • Get help: You will be able to access Training Center guides to using MICROMEDEX once you register and log in to the tool.

Organizational Resources

​You can search individual organizations for the information they publish on toxins, but there are also some resources that aggregate that information.

  • The CDC website contains information from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  • National Toxicology Program reports
  • NCBI Books is available on the PubMed platform and contains books of published reports by various agencies. To search, change the PubMed drop down menu to Books and type in the topic of interest.

Policy Resources

If policy implications are part of your research question, you may want to search for information around environmental regulations.

  • The Federal Register is a daily publication of the US federal government that issues proposed and final administrative regulations of federal agencies; agencies are required when adding or augmenting a rule to post in the Federal Register. You can browse by topic, agency, or date (the search box doesn’t work well). You will need the active ingredient name to search.
  • The ProQuest Congressional Research Digital Collection (CRDC) provides full-text access to more than 5,000 Congressional committee prints published from 2004 to present and more than 23,000 Congressional Research Service reports published from 2004-present. Includes citations for bills, public laws, and Statutes at Large, and analytical abstracts of the documents. Also includes links to political parties and organizations and news sources. Coverage 1789-present.

Toxicology Journals

If toxicology is a major component of your research, get to know specific journals in the field. You can sign up for email alerts from individual journals. 

  • See a list of toxicology journals by Scimago
  • Use the Libraries’ E-Journal Search feature to find out if we subscribe to an electronic version of that journal
  • Use the Libraries’ search feature to look for print or electronic versions of journals

Web of Science

Web of Science provides access to multiple databases that provide comprehensive citation data for many different academic disciplines. This is an alternative to Google Scholar, which is not transparent about their search algorithm or journal pool.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2020 10:04 AM