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HLTH 401 Introduction to Healthcare Research Guide

Finding Articles

How to Search

Make an outline of the information you need

Will you want to find background information from encyclopedias or news articles? Do you need statistics? How about recent studies that have been published? Come up with a list of information that you need to know about your topic.

Categorize the type of research

Now go through and categorize the type of information that you have identified in your outline. Here are a few possibilities to get you started:

  • Research articles - use the Databases or Summon
  • Statistics - use websites; especially Government sources
  • Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis - use health databases
  • News articles - use news websites and Databases

Brainstorm ways to find the information you need

If you get stuck, contact a librarian for more help! You will be able to find your information using databases, Google searches, and in books

Source Reliability


How do you know if your sources are authoritative?

The sources should be reputable.

Who is the publisher?

A university press or professional organization may indicate authority. A periodical with the “journal” in the title usually indicates greater complexity and depth of articles than a popular magazine.

  • Has the instructor mentioned the author or creator of the source?
  • Have you seen the author mentioned in other sources?
  • Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution, organization, or association?
  • What are the author’s credentials (education, experience, etc.) and/or bias or viewpoint? 

A page's URL can also give clues:

  • Organization: .org
  • Educational institution: .edu
  • Government entity: .gov
  • Commercial firm: .com


How do you know if your sources are scholarly?

  • Are the main points clearly stated in a logical order, and arguments well-supported?
  • Does the author present alternative viewpoints, and is it clear when the author’s opinions are being stated?
  • Is the information factual? Can it be verified? Are there references or a bibliography included?

Check for advertisements.

Ads, especially in the middle of articles, may indicate that a periodical is more popular than scholarly. Illustrations, such as tables, graphs, or charts, should add to the textual information. Illustrations used for entertainment purposes or to draw the eyes may indicate the source is more popular than scholarly.


How do you know if your information is current enough?

Very current sources need to be used when the field or topic is changing rapidly. Use historical sources when appropriate.

When was the source published?

Locate the date in a book or journal by looking for the copyright information. On a website, look for the "last updated" information.

Library Search Box

What am I searching?

You are searching books, e-books, articles from newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals, DVDs, market research reports, and selected Web resources.

Advanced Search  |  Video Tutorial

What am I searching?

You are searching articles from newspapers, newsletters, magazines and scholarly journals.

Advanced Search  |  Video Tutorial

What am I searching?

You are searching books and e-books.

Advanced Search  |  Video Tutorial
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Suggested Databases