Tackling a new topic?
Try looking for a review article first. Review articles attempt to summarize the state of research on a scientific topic. While lengthy, & not generally including the very latest research, review articles are a great way to start to get a handle on a topic.
Don't overlook the literature cited at the end of the review - the bibliography contains a wealth of information about the key discoveries & main researchers in the field.
Most databases (including PubMed & Web of Science below) will allow you to limit your search to include only review articles or literature reviews.
For articles describing primary research using scientific methods, written by experts in the field or scientists, try these biomedical, biology and life sciences databases:
Engineering Village (Includes Compendex and Inspec)
A comprehensive interdisciplinary engineering database. Contains over 9 million records, and references to over 5,000 international sources. including journals, conferences and trade publications, 1969 to present.
Web of Science indexes over 11,000 scholarly journals in the sciences (1975-present). Web of Science's strength is in its interdisciplinary focus and its ability to perform citation searching. Also works seamlessly with EndNote & EndNote Web citation management software.
More than just medical literature, PubMed was developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and publishers of life sciences literature. PubMed consists of 26 million citations for biomedical literature from Medline, life science journals and online books.