|Alison (Ali) Konieczny|
|Office: FLITE 315|
Researching Health Sciences Topics
When first learning about a topic, you may want to start off by gathering background information from encyclopedias and other reference books. Consider using:
- Stat!Ref: This database searches the contents of many medical reference books.
- Ebrary is a collection of many online books that may prove to be helpful. For more information on how to use Ebrary, click here.
- Online Reference Resources: This is a collection of online reference books (mostly encyclopedias). Of particular interest for this class are:
- Health & Medical encyclopedias
- American Decades or American Decades: Primary Sources: To find out what was happening during particular decades in Health & Medicine, and in society, you may wish to look at these online reference books. Select the eTable of Contents, and then be sure to select the correct Volume for the decade that you wish to view.
- Credo Reference: This is a great place to get biographical information on nursing theorists!
After gathering background information on your topic, you will want to focus your search in general and research databases to find articles on your topic. If you are doing research from off-campus, you will need to log-on to use databases and other online resources licensed by FSU. Click here for information on off-campus database access.
As stated above, Stat!Ref is an excellent starting point for researching medical topics. Enter your search term into the search box and you will obtain a rank-ordered list of results taken from various medical encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other medical reference books. A very helpful feature of this database is the Related Concepts box to the left of the results that will provide you with synonyms for your topic. These related concepts or synonyms can be used to enhance your searches in this database, as well as the other databases. If searching on nursing theory, there is particularly useful information in Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary under the Nursing Theory Appendix.
Click here for a Stat!Ref Database Guide.
The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) currently gathers information from more than 1800 journals. Use the CINAHL Headings subtab to get more subject-specific information on various topics. Try searching Nursing theory in the CINAHL Headings and you will get a list of the theorists, as well as the subject of nursing theory. You can narrow and expand your search using the options available in this database.
This is the largest biomedical database, with over 19 million citations. Search using keywords and then limit your search if necessary using the limits tab, related articles link, or selecting the Review tab to see only review articles. Other highly useful resources linked from PubMed include Single Citation Matcher and Consumer Health.
Click here for a PubMed Tutorial.
This is a general database that will be useful for searching about any topic you can come up with! You can do either a subject search or a keyword search. If having difficulties finding what you need, go to the Advanced Search.
The Cochrane Library is a valuable resource for evidence-based medicine. This online collection contains systematic reviews, meaning that each review contains pooled data from numerous independent studies on a particular topic. The pooled data has been synthesized and scrutinized to arrive at a statistically valid conclusion regarding the effectiveness of a treatment/procedure. This library is growing, so be sure to check back at a later time if you are not currently finding information on your topic. You can search using keywords, such as disease names and treatments, or browse Cochrane Reviews by topic. For recently updated reviews that may indicate a recommended change in clinical practice from the previous review, select the Updated Reviews tab. *Please note that Cochrane Reviews can also be found in PubMed. If you find a Cochrane Review in PubMed, open the Cochrane Database and search for the review within Cochrane to get the full text.
Academic Press IDEAL Journals via Science Direct and Health Sciences Sage Full Text are collections of online full-text journals. You may search by keyword to locate full-text articles within these journal collections.
In some databases you will see an option for a Text version of the document or a PDF version. In general, the PDF version is preferable as it is most often a scanned version of the original and will therefore contain the graphics. When e-mailing, printing, or saving a group of articles, be sure to select the full-text or PDF option if available.
Some databases contain little full-text, but allow you to link out to Ferris' holdings or the interlibrary loan request form. You will notice the Find it! links following individual citations that will indicate the availability of the article online, in the library, or the need to interlibrary loan the article. Click on the Go button and you will be taken to the online version, library holdings record, or interlibrary loan form to obtain the article you desire. See image below.
Sample Article Link-Out:
Before requesting articles from interlibrary loan, please review the abstract and make sure that the article is on-topic. Also, please insure that the article is in a language that you speak, as some databases, such as PubMed index many non-English articles that have abstracts written in English. After you have evaluated the topical coverage and language of the article, please do not hesitate to request it through interlibrary loan if it is not available on campus.
EBM Guidebook from the University of California, Irvine
Northern Michigan University's APA Style Guide: Provides great information, including how to cite books from Stat!Ref.
Any more questions? Contact: Alison (Ali) Konieczny / Email / Phone: 231-591-3696 / Office: FLITE 315
Don't forget, you are welcome to come to the Oval Information Desk and ask for help any time. You can also call us 231-591-3602 or chat with us.
Last update: Jan. 31, 2011