CORK: A Database of Substance Abuse Information
The CORK database includes over 61,000 items. Of these, there
are more than 53,500 journal articles and 7,500 books, book chapters
and reports selected for their value to health care professionals, policy
makers, and those in the substance abuse field. The database was initially
established to provide support for a medical education initiative inaugurated
at Dartmouth Medical School in 1978. Over the years, the database has
broadened to respond to the needs of clinicians working in treatment
centers as well as those involved in prevention or policy initiatives.
Time Period: 1978 to the present with selected retrospective coverage.
Size: over 60,000+ documents.
Updates: Quarterly. (March, June, September, December)
Indexing: Materials are indexed by 400 terms. These can be joined in searches.
Searching: The database can be searched by subject terms, author, journal title,
key words and date, as well as free text searching.
Format: A full citation is provided with an abstract, the number of bibliographic
references, and the academic affiliation and address of the first author.
Scope: The earliest materials date to the 1800s, although the bulk of materials
date from 1978 to the present. CORK is updated quarterly, with approximately
1500 items per load.
The materials are interdisciplinary — from the social sciences and
the life sciences as well as clinical information. Materials are drawn,
for the most part, from refereed professional publications. In addition,
the database includes books and "fugitive literature" such as
reports by state and federal agencies, private groups, foundations and
presentations. CORK provides access to substance abuse information which
is only partially indexed in a number of places, but not well indexed in
The database uses a controlled vocabulary of 400 words that can be used
for subject searches. Words in other fields are searchable also.
The database includes selected materials only. Basic science information,
well indexed by Medline, is excluded, as are animal studies. Landmark animal
studies are added retrospectively and selected basic science review articles
are incorporated into the collection.
Strength of the Database
The collection's focus is on information of direct interest to health
care professionals and health care educators. The subjects of particular
attitudes towards substance use • screening tests • court
college and university campuses • etiology and genetics • curriculum
the biomedical consequences • health insurance • treatment
impaired health professionals • impact on society • special
treatment outcome studies • cost-benefit analyses • treatment
employee assistance programs • special populations
CORK vs Other Databases
There are a number of databases available for searching for the substance
abuse literature: such as Medline, Psychinfo, ERIC, or IDA, sponsored by
National Clearinghouse on Alcohol and Drug Information. [ ETOH which had
been produced by NIAAA is no longer available.] Each of these databases
is more focused and less inclusive in terms of the breadth of substance
abuse literature. Medline is restricted to medical literature and does
not index journals from the social sciences. Also, it does not index substance
abuse journals cover to cover as it does many medical journals. In addition,
the indexing and inclusion of substance abuse journals is not a priority
activity, and there is often a 9 month to a year between the publication
date and being entered on Medline. PsychInfo and PsychLit focus upon psychological
literature and some other social sciences, excluding medical and other
clinical literature. IDA is of limited use, as there is a mix of popular
and professional literature and there is no clear policy either for including
or excluding the professional literature.
Tips on using CORK
It is recommended that people browse the documentation, the list of the
subject terms and also how these are used. For example: if interested in
the impact of substance use on children in the family, what do you search
for? There are any number of possibilities. By scanning the list of subjects
used in CORK, you will have a better chance of not missing materials as
well as avoiding finding things that are not really related to your area
Access to the CORK Database
The database is mounted on the Dartmouth College Online Catalog system.
The url for the Basic Search is <http://dciswww.dartmouth.edu:50080/?&&&36&s> The
link for an Advanced Search is <http://dciswww.dartmouth.edu:50080/v3?db=36&conn=813528929&page=e&seq=1025190463>