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Health Sciences: Researching Health Topics

Other Guides on Specific Disciplines and Topics in the Health Sciences

Best Databases for Health

There are many other choices: PsycINFO, SportDISCUS, and more.

APPsearch (on main page) contains most of these, so it's advantageous to search them all together there, sometimes.  Google Scholar too.

It's a good practice to start by looking for reviews.  Include the word "review" or the phrase "systematic review" with your other search words.  PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO allow you to limit results to only systematic reviews.

Health Reference Sources -- Symptoms & Tests

Highlighting a Few Journals on Health

Searching For DOIs

Have a DOI and need to find out the article?

Type or paste a DOI name (e.g., 10.1000/182) into the text box below.

You can also use Google Scholar, PubMed, or APPsearch, and they will work much of the time.

What if the article you need is not in English?

Even if the text is not in English, there will probably be an English-language abstract.  You might get some clues about which non-English words and phrases are important by comparing abstracts.

Many of the citations may be to related articles in English.

See if you can interpret the data tables, if there are any.

Use translation software to look at the methodology (and the whole article.)

Google Translate and Bing Translator are useful sometimes.

3 Variables Affect What You Find

1. Where do you search?  Google, APPSearch, PubMed, lots of others.

2. What words or phrases do you use?  Look for better, more scientific terms and for "subject headings." 

3. Do you follow links between sources?  Scholarly sources cite earlier sources and are in turn cited by later ones.

These are 3 variables that you can control.  It also, of course, makes a difference what is published and where and how find-able those sources are.  Also, a news or web source may refer to a scholarly source.  Dig for the primary source!

Graphic Medicine

" . . . denote[s] the role that comics can play in healthcare and, over time, it has been adopted as the accepted term for this area of study and practice*. . . not meant to connote the foregrounding of doctors over other healthcare professionals or over patients or comics artists, but, rather the suggestion that use of comics might have some sort of therapeutic potential – ‘medicine’ as in the bottled panacea rather than the profession . . . the discipline could include graphic memoirs of illness, educational comics for both students and patients, academic papers and books, gag strips about healthcare, graphic reportage and therapeutic workshops involving comic making, as well as many other practices and source material, both fictional and non-fictional."

Health Sciences Librarian

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John Wiswell

Levine Hall 542F & Belk Library 225, (828)262-7853