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Clinical Research: Publication Cycle

Resources Guide for Clinical Research

Publication Cycle

The following may be used to guide you in searching literature existing at various stages of scientific communication:

Process of Scientific Communication

Publication Cycle

Access Points


Research and develop idea

Unpublished Documents *: lab notebooks, personal correspondence, graphs, charts, grant proposals

Limited access

The Internet s
earch engines:

Google Scholar

Current Grey Literature Report
Other LibGuides

HSRR (Health Services and Sciences Research Resources)

RePORTER (Database of NIH funded research projects)

Present preliminary findings


Preliminary Reports: letters to the editor or journals, brief (short) communication submitted to a primary journal

PubMed (limiting search results to Letter under Limits)

ISI Web of Science (Science Citation Index)

Patent Specifications: invention (e.g., diagnostic/surgical tool, new drug) described in a patent specification

Google Patents

US Web Patent Databases

Report research

Conference Literature: preprints, conference proceedings



Conference Web sites

Research Reports: master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, interim or technical reports

Dissertation & Theses

Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center

PubMed (limiting search results to Technical Report under Limits)

Professional association Web sites

Publish research

Research Paper (scholarly journal articles): research papers published in peer-review/referred journals


Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (selecting the Advanced search mode to restrict search by database)

CINAHL (nursing, non-pharmaceutial,  patient- and family-centered information)

APA Psycinfo (psychology and psychiatry)

ISI Web of Science (Science Citation Index)

Popularize research findings

Newspapers, popular magazines, TV news reports, web sites

PubMed (limiting search results to News and Newspaper Article under Limits)

Media outlets

The Internet

Compact and repackage biomedical information


Reviews, systematic reviews, guidelines, textbooks, handbooks, yearbooks, encyclopedias


Cochrane Library


Clinical Key

 UToledo Libraries Catalog


Note: Unpublished documents, also called "grey literature", because it is “shadow-like”, difficult to locate, with limited Access.

PubMed Tutorials