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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 238-253

Literature searches on Ayurveda: An update

Institute of Applied Dermatology, Kasaragod, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhur G Aggithaya
Institute of Applied Dermatology, IAD Junction, Uliyathadka, Madhur Road, Kasaragod - 671 124, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.182754

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Introduction: The journals that publish on Ayurveda are increasingly indexed by popular medical databases in recent years. However, many Eastern journals are not indexed biomedical journal databases such as PubMed. Literature searches for Ayurveda continue to be challenging due to the nonavailability of active, unbiased dedicated databases for Ayurvedic literature. In 2010, authors identified 46 databases that can be used for systematic search of Ayurvedic papers and theses. This update reviewed our previous recommendation and identified current and relevant databases. Aims: To update on Ayurveda literature search and strategy to retrieve maximum publications. Methods: Author used psoriasis as an example to search previously listed databases and identify new. The population, intervention, control, and outcome table included keywords related to psoriasis and Ayurvedic terminologies for skin diseases. Current citation update status, search results, and search options of previous databases were assessed. Eight search strategies were developed. Hundred and five journals, both biomedical and Ayurveda, which publish on Ayurveda, were identified. Variability in databases was explored to identify bias in journal citation. Results: Five among 46 databases are now relevant – AYUSH research portal, Annotated Bibliography of Indian Medicine, Digital Helpline for Ayurveda Research Articles (DHARA), PubMed, and Directory of Open Access Journals. Search options in these databases are not uniform, and only PubMed allows complex search strategy. “The Researches in Ayurveda” and “Ayurvedic Research Database” (ARD) are important grey resources for hand searching. About 44/105 (41.5%) journals publishing Ayurvedic studies are not indexed in any database. Only 11/105 (10.4%) exclusive Ayurveda journals are indexed in PubMed. Conclusion: AYUSH research portal and DHARA are two major portals after 2010. It is mandatory to search PubMed and four other databases because all five carry citations from different groups of journals. The hand searching is important to identify Ayurveda publications that are not indexed elsewhere. Availability information of citations in Ayurveda libraries from National Union Catalogue of Scientific Serials in India if regularly updated will improve the efficacy of hand searching. A grey database (ARD) contains unpublished PG/Ph.D. theses. The AYUSH portal, DHARA (funded by Ministry of AYUSH), and ARD should be merged to form single larger database to limit Ayurveda literature searches.

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