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CHIN 165A: Chinese for Life Science


Finding Health Sciences Literature in Chinese

This research guide highlights the best places to look for health sciences literature written in Chinese and English.

Learn about Your Herb First

If you don't know much about your herb yet, it will probably be helpful to do some background research before you start searching for articles. 

In addition to the sources your instructor has provided, you can see whether the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine has an entry on your herb. This can be a useful source for finding common English names for the herb and relevant English-language studies that have been conducted.

Keep in mind that this database is maintained by the National Institutes of Health, a US government agency. The information you find here may have a Western and English-language bias.

Find Journal Articles

Best Bet for Chinese-Language Papers: China Academic Journals (CNKI)

You can use either the Chinese language platform or the English language platform to search this database (both platforms include the same content). 

How to limit your results to only health and medical papers:

  • Click on Advanced Search.
  • Click on Classification (on the left side of the screen) to expand this menu.
  • Click Clear to clear all of the selections and check only (E) Medicine & Public Health

How to enter more than one search terms:

  • Use the Advanced Search. This will bring you to a page with three search bars.
  • Enter your first search term into the top search bar.
  • If you're using an alternative name for the same herb or concept, change the AND drop-down to OR.
  • If you're searching for two terms that are not synonyms (i.e. an herb and a diagnosis or condition), leave AND selected in the drop-down.

How to see the most relevant results first:

  • After you search, look for Sort (located above the top search result). 
  • To view the most relevant results first, click on Subject next to Sort. This will sort your results by subject.

**If you have trouble with this database in Google Chrome, try using another browser, like Firefox, Safari, or Edge.**

Best Bets for English-Language Papers: PubMed & Scopus

There are many English-language papers on Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments. Both PubMed and Scopus include papers in a variety of languages, including Chinese. However, the availability of the Chinese papers in these databases may be limited. 

If you find a Chinese paper in one of these databases that you can't access through PubMed or Scopus, see if it is available through China Academic Journals first. If not, you can try requesting it through Interlibrary Loan. We will do our best to get a copy of the article for you, but it may not be possible.